The collections of the Documentation Centre comprise about 170,000 objects that have been donated by ca. 2000 individuals. The collections broadly represent the everyday material culture of the GDR.
The focus of the collection plan is laid on the material culture of the everyday. These are furniture, technical and household aplliances, clothing, consumer goods, work-related objects, objects related with politics, and others. But also photographs, documents, records and audio-tapes, posters and publications are regarded. The photo collection covers architecutre and city planning, housing and furniture, commerce and advertising.
Expert knowledge interviews are documented as well.
A collection of publications focusses on books in their original appearance (preserbing book covers) as well as complex corpora such as the book archives of the Volk & Welt publishing house, a public library and the library of the central Kulturbund club. Grey literature, information folders and user manuals are collected as well. The Documentation Centre holds a broad collection of magazines and newspapers.
The collection plan will concentrate on the acquisition of dense corpora with social and individual provenance in the future.
Object collections are useful only when documented. The Documentation Centre therefore wants to further "dense" documentation of material culture in a wider context of GDR history and aims to step by step provide a reliable "archive of material culture".
The presentation of parts of the collections in the internet is planned.