The Wende Museum was founded in 2002 in an effort to stem the tide of wholesale neglect and rampant destruction of material culture following the fall of the Berlin Wall. It quickly grew into a museum and research institute at the forefront of its field and is recognized as an unparalleled resource for insight into the Eastern perspective of the Cold War.
The museum holds one of the most important collections of East German art and artifacts in the world, as well as collections from Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and the entire sphere touched by socialism during the Cold War, from Asia to the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The museum prioritizes collections that would otherwise be at risk of disappearance, destruction, or neglect, making these materials available to scholars and the general public via open access policies. This is essential to enabling future generations to encounter a vanishing culture, especially in a time when authoritarian regimes are determined to destroy and disappear these materials.
The Wende’s collection consists of more than 100,000 artifacts, artworks, volumes of books and pamphlets, manuscript collections, photographic images, and films. The Wende also holds large collections of maps, printed ephemera, posters, periodicals, and newspapers. Additionally, the Museum possesses eleven sections of the Berlin Wall, ten of which form the largest continuous section of the Wall outside of Germany.
In 2020, the Wende began a three-year project to digitize its most important archival collections, funded by Arcadia, a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and promote open access to knowledge. A subsequent Arcadia grant supports the digitization of Soviet Jewish archives. All digitized materials will be freely available through our Online Collections.
The Wende Museum’s Online Collections will launch in 2024 and include materials from our collections and be regularly updated to allow increasing access to our collections of artworks, artifacts, documents, films, and historical witness interviews.
The Wende Museum provides access to digital materials for purposes of education and research only. Access does not confer rights to re-use. It is the sole responsibility of the user to obtain any legal permission necessary for re-use. The Wende Museum does not hold the copyright to many of the works in its collection, but in cases where we have information about existing rights holders, we are happy to share it.
The Wende Museum provides access to its catalogue records (metadata) without restrictions. This means that you are free to share and re-use the text contained in the catalogue record; we simply ask that you attribute them to the Wende Museum whenever feasible. If you reference our collection in a publication, please contact us so that we can track how our materials are being used and draw attention to your work. If you have additional information about an item in our catalogue, we are eager to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.EXPLORE THE ONLINE COLLECTIONS
Collecting Policy & Artifact Donation
The Wende Museum commits its acquisition resources largely to those artifacts, artworks, or collections that either make an important addition to our established core strengths or fill significant gaps, and/or are threatened with imminent destruction or dispersal. This includes historically or culturally significant items likely to be sold to a private collection and removed from public access. The Wende also attempts to acquire artifacts at the request of scholars in need of specific resources unavailable elsewhere.
If you are interested in donating an artifact or collection to the Wende Museum, please send email@example.com a detailed description of item(s) as well as images. The Wende does not accept unsolicited donations.
The Wende Museum welcomes scholars, artists, and others who wish to work with the collection. In order to access materials for research, please fill out our Inquiries and Research Requests form.
The Wende Museum is a lending institution. We regularly loan objects from our collection for exhibitions at other institutions and welcome opportunities to collaborate. To make a request, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rights, Reuse, and Open Access
In accordance with its mission, the Wende Museum is committed to a policy of broad public access. The Wende strives to provide free and open online access to works in its collections and products of scholarship based on its collections.
The Wende Museum provides free access to digital versions of its artifacts for purposes of education and research. Access does not confer rights to reuse. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use or other exemptions requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Many of the works in the museum’s catalogue are presumed to be under copyright, but due to the nature of archival collections we are not always able to identify rights information. It is the sole responsibility of the user to determine whether legal permission is necessary for reuse, and to obtain such permission. In cases where we have information about existing rights holders, we are happy to share it. If you have additional information about an item in our catalogue, we are eager to hear from you at email@example.com.
Citing The Wende Museum
The Wende Museum provides access to its online catalogue records (metadata) without restrictions. This means that you are free to share and reuse texts contained in the catalogue records; we simply ask that you attribute them to the Wende Museum whenever feasible, for example by citing the URL for the catalog record and noting “courtesy of the Wende Museum.” If you reference our collection in a publication, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can track how our materials are being used and draw attention to your work. We request that scholars provide a link to an open-access version of their publications whenever feasible.
The Wende Museum approaches provision of access to its collections with a commitment to ethical, well-intentioned practice. If you are concerned that you have found material on our website to which you hold the rights and for which you have not given permission, please contact us at email@example.com. Upon request, we will remove material from public view while we address rights concerns.
Wende Museum Publications
The intellectual property of publications by Wende Museum employees resides with the authors. The Wende maintains a policy that copies of scholarly publications created under the terms of an individual’s employment and referencing the Museum’s collections be made freely available, either on the museum’s website or the open-access portal of the publication, or both. The authors grant the Wende Museum a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to make their scholarly products available, except where they have entered into an incompatible licensing agreement. The museum will work with publishers to break down barriers to open access.