Berlin State Museums


The Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation and Artstor sharing are more than 21,000 high quality digital images of sculptures from the Berlin State Museums in the Digital Library.

The Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) represent the result of centuries of collecting. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the holdings increased enormously through generous donations, through archaeological fieldwork and through sponsored ethnological expeditions. Today the national museums in Berlin consist of seventeen museums, each with its own special area of competence. Despite the losses suffered between 1933 and 1945, most of their collections rank high among the major museums of the world.

This carefully-curated selection is being made available to scholars, students, and curators electronically for the first time with the assistance of Germany's Institute for Museum Research, an institution with nationwide responsibility for research and documentation.

In reaching this agreement, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, then President of the Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation, and James Shulman, President of Artstor, expressed their joint enthusiasm in collaborating to use digital technologies to make these important artistic and scholarly resources more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. "The Berlin State Museums have always been exceptionally significant places for scientific research and collection building. The modern possibilities of digital technology expand greatly on this potential and allow us not only to present these treasures, but also to link this effort with other important organizations, such as Artstor, to a degree previously unimaginable," said Klaus-Dieter Lehmann.

James Shulman commented, "This important partnership with the Berlin State Museums within the Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation will produce an exceptionally significant resource for scholars, teachers and students. Artstor is especially delighted to be part of this international collaboration. The coordination between the museums and libraries in Berlin — and the extent to which they are pursuing collaborative ventures both with universities and with other cultural organizations across Europe — make them extraordinary partners for ARTstor."

The Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation is one of the world's major cultural organizations. It embraces the sixteen national museums in Berlin as well as the State Library, State Archive and a number of research institutes, all with their origins in the collections and archives of the former State of Prussia. All are uniquely linked to form an integrated network for the exchange of cultural heritage objects and documentation.

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Collection information

Total size of collection* 21,366
Percentage of completion 100%
Search terms smb berlin
Collection URL

* Image totals should be regarded as an approximation until a given collection is 100% complete. Users should also bear in mind that the number of images available to them may vary from country to country, reflecting ARTstor’s approach to addressing an international copyright landscape that itself varies from country to country.

Last updated: January 31, 2014

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