At the Institut für Museumsforschung, a major and ongoing task is the collation of statistical data and statistical evaluation, as well as data management through databases. This data essentially covers two separate areas:
This database was set up in the early 1980s. In order to collate statistical data, a database of addresses, information on collection areas, and sponsors of German museums had to be established. In 1981 this database contained information on 2247 museums, by 1998 it covered 5576 museums. In 2012 some 6304 museums were listed in the database. By conducting a regular survey of all museums, it is possible to constantly update and expand our Institutions Documentation. Without it we would not be able to provide accurate information. It also forms the basis for the allocation of the ISIL numbers (International Standard Identifier for Libraries and Related Organizations), assigned to German museums.
A second database documents all temporary exhibitions held at museums in Germany. The Database of Temporary Exhibitions contains details on special exhibitions held across the country since 1993. The stored data relates to exhibition content and topics, opening and closing dates, organizers and so on. This information allows museums: to make simple comparisons between themselves and other institutions, research their own past exhibitions, gain initial ideas for future exhibition projects, and find contact details for individuals and organizations previously involved in similar exhibition projects.