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Museum of Ethnology Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany

The Museum of Ethnology Hamburg is one of largest ethnological museums in Europe. Its exhibitions and events deal with the worldviews and ways of life of people around the globe, with the examination of the dynamic nature of culture playing a central role in all of these activities. In a globalised world shaped by cultural interrelations and dependencies, this is a many-layered enterprise, one the museum pursues in cooperation with local, transregional, and international experts and collaborating partners. This understanding of our mission has also guided the transformation of the institution from a traditional museum of display cases into a lively, intercultural centre of encounter with a diverse program. The extensive and, in some cases, unparalleled collections that have been brought together since the museum’s founding in 1879 constitute the foundation for our work. They comprise objects from all of the earth’s regions: from North and South America to Africa, Europe, and the whole Asian continent, to Australia and the Pacific Islands. These holdings are complemented by an archive consisting of a collection of unique documents, some 300,000 photographic images, and the wide-ranging book and periodical collection of the museum library. As a social institution whose roots reach back to the peak of European colonialism, the Museum of Ethnology Hamburg sees the systematic, critical examination of this part of Europe’s past and its significance for the present as one of its vital tasks.

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