Koordinierungsstelle für die Erhaltung des schriftlichen Kulturguts (Coordination Office for the Preservation of the Written Cultural Heritage)

Written cultural heritage is often at risk of being damaged. The coordination office is working out a national proposal to safeguard this heritage for future generations. It also supports model projects with that goal.

Open address book of the artist Hannah Höch (Opens a Larger Version of the Image)A restoration project funded by the Koordinierungsstelle: The address book of the artist Hannah Höch in the Berlinische Galerie © Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, Hannah-Höch-Archiv / Kai-Annett Becker

One of the primary tasks for the Koordinierungsstelle für die Erhaltung des schriftlichen Kulturguts (Coordination Office for the Preservation of the Written Cultural Heritage, KEK) is to develop an overall proposal to safeguard collections of written materials in Germany. It should evaluate existing knowledge about the preservation of holdings and network existing initiatives and competence centers. By supporting model projects, it encourages the development of innovative technical procedures. In addition, the KEK has the important task of informing the public about the threats to our written cultural heritage and to make it aware of the subject of preserving originals.

The coordination office began work already in 2010. It was officially established in August 2011. It was created at the initiative of the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media together with the federal states. It is located at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.

The founding of the office can be traced back to an initiative by German libraries and archives with extensive historical holdings. In 2001 they founded the Allianz Schriftliches Kulturgut Erhalten (Alliance for the Preservation of the Written Cultural Heritage). The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz is represented there by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. The long-term goal of the Alliance was to establish the safeguarding of the written cultural heritage as a joint national task. In 2009 the Alliance presented Germany’s Federal President with the memorandum Zukunft Bewahren (Preserving the Future). This provided the impetus to create a national office to coordinate the preservation of the written cultural heritage.