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The Institut für Museumsforschung records statistical data on developments in German museums and museum attendance. Each year, it collects up-to-date data from all museums in Germany. The results of these annual surveys are published and also serve as a basis for further information and analyses.
In projects focussing on visitor research, changes in the structure of the museum public are investigated, and impact analyses of specific educational and media services offered by the museums are carried out.
Questions on museum management and operators are increasingly incorporated in the survey. The Institut für Museumsforschung, together with the Deutscher Museumsbund, strives for the development and implementation of standards in different areas of museum practice.
The Institut für Museumsforschung is part of a professional European and international network of museums. It participates in a series of (interdisciplinary) initiatives and projects for the development of standards and guidelines, for example, in the areas of digitisation, the online presence of museums, standard terminology, and cross-border loans.
At the Institut für Museumsforschung, museum documentation is mainly concerned with methods of collecting, conserving, and recovering information on collected items. The institute is committed to making full use of the rationalisation and communication potential of computers for this central task.
A further important activity of the Institut für Museumsforschung is its involvement in the creation and, above all, promotion of standards for museum practice.
Providing information and support for questions related to digitisation and long-term archiving of museum data is a further important aspect of the Institut für Museumsforschung’s work.
The main focus of the working group ‘New Media and Museum Education’ is the impact of exhibitions, and research into public reception within different subject areas. Questions related to visitor and user research are also pursued from sociological perspectives.
Due to the employment structure at the Institut für Museumsforschung, this area can still only be researched through externally funded projects. The DFG project ‘Die Entwicklung historischer Museumsinszenierungen im 19. Jahrhundert auf wissenschaftlicher Grundlage am Beispiel des Alten und des Neuen Museums’ (The scientific development of historical museum presentations in the 19th century, based on the examples of the Altes Museum and the Neues Museum) has been successfully completed and published in the series Berliner Schriften zur Museumsforschung (Berlin writings on museum research).
The Institut für Museumsforschung is active in various national and international projects, and assumes executive functions for some of these initiatives.
The Institut für Museumsforschung is involved in various national and international projects. In addition to projects in the museum sector, it is also contributing to cross-disciplinary projects with archives and libraries. An overview of current projects is available here (further information can also be found at www.museumsforschung.de).
The conception, organisation, and execution of research seminars and other events related to the core areas of the Institut für Museumsforschung (see, for example, the working group ‘New Media’, the expert symposium on European museum statistics, the workshop on museum documentation, seminars on digitisation etc.).