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Research Network: Colonial Collections in Berlin Universities

Azurit aus Tsumeb, Namibia (ehemaliges Deutsch-Südwestafrika), Mineralogische Sammlung, TU Berlin

The research network “Colonial Collections in Berlin Universities” aims to identify colonial contexts in the repositories of Berlin universities and promote a dialogue on ethics of care and the future of these collections. The Mineralogical Collection (TU), the Medical History Museum collection (Charité), the Sound Archive (HU) and the archaeological finds related to the former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institute of Anthropology (FU) have different histories; yet, they raise similar questions: How can these collections help working through colonial history? Are they connected to histories of violence? What can be done with incomplete archives? How can this precious knowledge be made available in the Global South? How can relevant experts get access to these artefacts? 

This project wishes to extend the critical reappraisal of Berlin’s colonial past by bringing together experts from Berlin and international experts in museums studies, anthropology, colonial history and archival research. The project is funded by the Berlin Center for Global Engagement of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA). It is undertaken by all four BUA-partners, the Technischen Universität, the Freie Universität, the Humboldt Universität and the Charité.


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Workshop Colonial Collections in Berlin Universities


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