Preservation of GDR plastics

Coffee filter, polyamid
Telephone W 58, bakelite
Camping crockery, melamine (Meladur)
closure for milk bottles, polyethylene

Research and exhibition project in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, Institute of Restauration and Conservation (2009-2012)

In a three year research project everyday objects of plastics have been investigated in detail.

Within this projects, the Documentation Centre has studied their cultural, historical and economic background.

All results of the research project are publishes online. Please see the site:

For public education the project partners have developed a touring exhibition that constists of 15 displays presenting photographs and texts. Interested educational institutions are invited to loan the touring exhibition (in German). For further details please contact the Documentation Centre via E-mail: info(at)
Accompanying this exhibition an information brochure of 48 pages is published (in German).

The Documentation Centre presents a temporary exhibition going into further detail until May 5, 2013 under the title "all made of plastics". A detailled exhibition catalogue is available (in German).

For further research a bibliography of publications about plastics in the GDR has been provided.


Project members

Prof. Dr. Friederike Waentig (FH Köln)
Stephanie Grossman (FH Köln)
Christoph Wenzel (FH Köln)
Katja Böhme (Dokumentationszentrum)
Dr. Andreas Ludwig (Dokumentationszentrum)

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This project was financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Sciences within the programme "Translation capacities of the humanities"

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