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View of the model of a living room

Our Collections

“Telling stories with objects” is a guiding principle of all our collections. This can take shape through extraordinary individual items or through groups of various objects, images, artworks, and documents. This is how we shed light on the lives of German Jews and Jews in Germany.

Objects in Our Collection

Our collections currently encompass about 9,500 works of art, 1,000 objects of applied art, 1,500 objects of religious use, 4,500 objects of material culture, 24,000 photographs, more than 1,700 individual collections in the Archive, and approximately 11,000 volumes in the Library’s historical holdings.

The objects in our collection illustrate Jewish culture and history, provide material for research, and last but certainly not least, to commemorate the people whose stories they tell.

Family Collections

At the heart of our collection are bequests from families. These include all manner of images, objects, and documents. Together, they paint a lively portrait of private, professional, and religious life. The family collections were preserved through persecution and emigration and donated to the museum by heirs from all around the world.

Historical Emphases

Most of the objects in our collections date from the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. They document middle-class life and the onset of the modern age as well experiences of persecution and emigration. Berlin is a focus, but as a Jewish Museum for all of Germany, we also seek objects from other regions and other eras and objects relating to other themes.

As we expand the collection over the coming years, we are especially interested in the time period from 1945 to the present. We would be delighted if you helped us add interesting objects to the collection. Make us an offer or donate to our support organization, Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin.

black and white model of a living room

Detail from Living Room 1 by Maya Zack. The computer-generated visualizations of the series Living Room (2009) are based on narrated memories and show the living room of a Jewish family in the 1930s; Jewish Museum Berlin.

Inka Bertz
Head of Collections/ Curator of Art
T +49 (0)30 259 93 414
F +49 (0)30 259 93 409
i.bertz@jmberlin.de

Address

Jewish Museum Berlin
Lindenstraße 9–14
10969 Berlin

How can I donate objects, photographs, and documents to the museum?

If you would like to support the Jewish Museum Berlin and believe you possess materials that may be of interest to us, contact us!

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How can I conduct research using the museum’s archive, collections, and library?

Our Reading Room is open to the public. You can also research using our library’s holdings and some of our collection’s holdings online. To view additional holdings, please contact the responsible curators.

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I would like to depict or borrow an object from your collections. Who should I contact?

Your contact for photo permissions is Valeska Wolfgram (T +49 (0)30 259 93 433, email: fotodoku@jmberlin.de). Loan requests must be made at least six months in advance. For questions regarding administrative processes, please contact Katrin Strube (T +49 (0)30 259 93 417, email: k.strube@jmberlin.de).

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Behind the Scenes: Anecdotes and Exciting Finds while Working with our Collections (11)

Anecdotes and Exciting Finds while Working with our Collections

Employees of our archive and our collections provide insight into their work and share stories and insights.

Etikett auf einem Tagebuch

Berlin in Times of Cholera

Doreen Tesche and Jörg Waßmer discover some parallels to the current corona pandemic in Louis Röhmann’s diary entries about cholera in Berlin in 1837.

That can’t be! Can it?

Jörg Waßmer about coincidences in the archive

“Since that day, Iʼve felt like a newborn”

A striking document about the 1945 Day of Liberation

“The best solution would be that the baby is a girl”

Jörg Waßmer prepared the inventory of Fritz Wachsner’s estate and got some insights into an internal Jewish debate about circumcision.

Conservation of Letters and Seals

Stephan Lohrengel reports about his work as paper conservator in the Jewish Museum Berlin.

The World in Miniature

Kirsten Meyer on conserving and storing a stamp album

Farewell Letter, Ink on Paper

Exhibition curator Maren Krüger and paper conservator Stephan Lohrengel about a touching historical document and why we could only exhibit it so shortly

Black and white photography of teenage girls and boys joyfully leaning out of the window of a train

Photo­graphic Testimony

Theresia Ziehe, curator for photography, on the history of the Herbert Sonnenfeld collection

self written marriage contract, signed with a kiss mark of red lipstick

All for Love

Jörg Waßmer searches for sexual diversity in the collection of the Jewish Museum Berlin

Cover of a Hebrew-German edition of the Haggadah with handwritten entries on the inside flaps

A Small Window onto History

Aubrey Pomerance, Head of Archives, on a newly acquired Passover Haggadah and its previous owners in Kreuzberg

Portrait of a woman holding laces in front of her face

Salvaged from the Trash

Anna Rosemann on the photo albums of the artist Olga Irén Fröhlich