Managing, Using and Researching Objects in Collections

Tuesday, 22 June 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (CET)

Collections are home to objects that were acquired in the context of German and international colonialism. In terms of provenance research, the question of the collecting practices of the researchers who acquired these objects in different ways is often the only one addressed. In this panel, however, the focus is less on the analysis of the forms of acquisition than on the question of what happened to the objects after they found their way into a collection.


By looking at different collections different practices in dealing with objects can be discovered. Collecting, preserving and researching with and about objects depends on the respective collections and the people working there.

In the context of this panel, examples will be used to show what kind of role and significance objects have taken on within different collections and continue to take on today. Representatives from collections in Cameroon, Papua-New Guinea and Germany offer an inside into their research and the collections they work with. They are going to raise questions like: How were the objects inventoried? How were and are the objects preserved? How were they researched? Was any research done on the objects at all? Did they become illustrative material, exhibition objects, art objects, teaching materials, exchange objects, gifts, or have they always been stored in a depot? And to what extent has their significance within the collection changed?

Chair: Hannah Stieglitz, Georg-August-University Göttingen