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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
Curator of Art
T +49 (0)30 259 93 414


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 contacts for photo permissions are Valeska Wolfgram and Birgit Maurer-Porat (T +49 (0)30 259 93 433, email: 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:

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Behind the Scenes: Anecdotes and Exciting Finds while Working with our Collections (21)

A red square clock with black numbers, the hand points to a few minutes past 11 o'clock.

Applied Arts Collection

Non-ritual objects made by German-Jewish craftspeople or companies

All About ...

A typewriter.

Contemporary History Collection

Since 2015, we have focused on collecting objects from after 1945

All About ...

Abstract painting.

Fine Arts Collection

Focal points, media, subjects, and what the artwork says about Jewish history

All About ...

Praying room window with Shield of David

Judaica Collection

Around 1500 objects of religious use reflect Jewish life past and present

All About ...

Round container with an image of a man wearing a Fez hat smoking a plastic cigarette

Material Culture Collection

Around 4,500 objects and the stories of their owners and makers give a glimpse into Jewish history

All About ...

Ilse Bing with a Leica camera

Photographic Collection

Art photography, historical press images and family photos, documenting the museum’s work

All About ...

Search Within Our Collections!

Selected collection objects (in German)

Online Collections

A thick, old book is rebound.

Our Collection Management

Responsibilities and Contact Persons

All About ...

One of the last pages of Veitel Heine Ephraim's testament


Documents about the lives and fates of German Jews and Jewish families from Germany

All About ...

View into the aisle between two rows of bookshelves in a library

Our Library

At our Library, you have access to over 70,000 items including about 20,000 from our historical library holdings

All About ...

A golden five-pointed star with a hammer and sickle, a seder plate, a postcard from Glowe, a photo of the ruined synagogue in Oranienburger Straße and various identity papers

Your Stories Are Important to Us!

Call for Collection Items: “Jews in the GDR”

Call for Collection Items

Portrait photo of a smiling woman wearing a bright blue jumper. She looks directly into the camera.

Objects and Stories

Interview with Julia Friedrich, Director of Collections at the Jewish Museum Berlin


Donating Objects

Bequests and keepsakes for the museum’s collection


The History of Our Collections

Initial inspiration and transition to the Jewish Museum Berlin


Selected Objects and Highlights from the Collection

At a Glance…

More on This Topic …


More on This Topic …

Provenance Research

Collage of horse, besamim box, written document and photo

20 Years, 21 Objects

Discover objects that have never been shown to the public

Online Feature

Curators Write about Objects from the Collection

Individual holdings, gifts, visits by donors, acquisitions, and more


Screenshot of a page showing three rows of three video players each. Each of the video player’s start pictures shows a person talking

What We Won’t Show You...

In nine short films, employees give insights into our work by explaining “what we don’t show”

Video Project

Sources for Collection Holdings

In publications of the Berlin Museum (1978 to 1995)


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