Documentation Centre Everyday Culture of the GDR, October 1999 (Photo: R. Südhoff).

The Documentation Centre - Mission

The Documentation Centre is the special museum for the everyday culture in the former German Democratic Republic.

Objects of every day material culture are systematically collected, analyzed and documented since 1993. On the basis of its collections the Documentation Centre deveops exhibitions and publishes catalogues in order to inform a wider public about the history of East Germany between 1945 and 1990. Special services are provided for education, research, media and museums.

The Documentation Centre aims to further public discourse about the history of the divided Germany after 1945. Since fields of interst may change inh the future, the museum seeks to provide significant information on the basis of up-to-date scholarly debate. To conform this aim the Documentation Centre cooperates with museums, universities and research centres.

History is part of peoples´ reflections about their past, present and future and they will need the various sources and qualified information kept in museums as well as libraries and archives to reassure the diverging points of view in public debate. In the past, the history of the GDR for most visitors to the Documentation Centre was part of their own lives. Today, a younger generation seeks information about the circumstances of life their parent and grand parents lived. The Documentation Centre aims to accompy this generational change in the field of everyday culture.


A focus is laid on the collecting, preservation and exploration of material culture to make the manifold objects available for public concern and further the understanding of the meaning of things in history. Objects of everyday life serve as a starting point of historical interest as much as they point to the importance of material culture in society and individual lives in the process of historical change.

The Documentation Centre aims to serve as both a place of discourse as of an archive for the material culture of the former GDR.

The current concept of development you will find here.

A first outline for the concept of a Documentation Centre was published in 1993.

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