Research activities at the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz focus on its own collections and questions associated with them. They involve nearly all of the humanities but also the social and natural sciences.

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Researching watermarks, here on the woodcut “Christus in der Vorhölle” by Albrecht Dürer, helps determine the paper used and when it was produced. © SPK / Pierre Adenis

Collection-Related Basic Research as Distinctive Characteristic

All five institutions of the Foundation pursue their own independent research. They make the holdings entrusted to them available and produce their own scholarship on them. This basic work related to collections distinguishes them from other research institutions.

The research program of the SPK institutions as well as their collections and departments are determined by their own collecting emphases. The subject areas range from archaeology, history, art history, linguistics, literary studies, paleography, musicology, and ethnology to cultural and regional studies. They include archaeological excavations in Asia, Africa, and South America as well as ethnological field research on all continents.

Multidisciplinary Knowledge in Dealing with Cultural Heritage

The SPK institutions can beyond subjects specific to their collections address cross-disciplinary subjects such as provenance research and the conservation and restoration of cultural assets. Issues include art technologies, archaeometry, and other scientific material studies of objects.

Research results are made available in numerous publications, web portals, exhibitions, and at events. They are aimed at both specialist audiences and the general public.

Partners in National and International Research Projects

The SPK institutions participate in numerous national and international research projects. They are constantly expanding their research programs in collaboration with cooperative partners to address current questions and reorient themselves. The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz belongs to several research associations. It also cultivates long-term cooperation with several scientific institutions.

The Foundation is much in demand as an important nonuniversity research institute, especially in the humanities and social sciences. Every year numerous visiting scholars from all over the world do research at one of its five institutions. The Foundation regular organizes conferences and continually builds its network.

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