Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung e.V.

Academic coordination of the establishment and consolidation phase

The Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung (Visitor Research Network) was launched during a symposium on 23 and 24 November 2021 at the DASA Working World Exhibition in Dortmund. The Institut für Museumsforschung of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin was one of the forces behind the initial founding, is represented on the board, and is responsible for the establishment and consolidation phase of the network, as well as providing the office space for the organisation headquarters.

Visitor research is a strategic task when it comes to securing the future of museums, and this task can only be successfully tackled in a network and through dialogue. This is where the Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung e.V. comes into play: it aims to consolidate the long-term future of museums in Germany by supporting the development of visitor and audience research in the German-speaking world.

The organisation “Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung” was founded in 2022, having grown out of an informal initiative launched a year earlier, and was officially registered as a non-profit association in 2023. The founding institutional members include the DASA Working World Exhibition Dortmund, the Deutscher Museumsbund, the Institut für Museumsforschung, the Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland and the Leibniz Research Museums Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz and Deutsches Museum Munich. Individuals affiliated with the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Hansemuseum Lübeck and the Berliner Museumsverband are also among the members.

The network seeks to facilitate dialogue in the field right around Germany and to enhance relevant research skills across a broad spectrum of museums. It aims to communicate research outcomes and facilitate regular publications and discussion in the field. By combining interdisciplinary methods and publication formats and promoting knowledge transfer, the Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung aims to be the go-to place to gain well-founded information about work in the field. The ultimate goal is to cement museum visitor and audience research as a core area of work for museum staff, and to connect museums, universities and non-university research institutions in German-speaking and European countries.

The headquarters are located at the Institut für Museumsforschung of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz.

If you would like to join the organisation, you can fill out a membership application form for individuals (concession and full-fee, PDF, 199 KB) and for institutions (PDF, 199 KB) and send it either via email or post to m.stoelzer[at] or:

Institut für Museumsforschung
Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung e. V.
In der Halde 1
14195 Berlin

The board will then make a decision on your membership application. The organisational charter (PDF, 212 KB) and membership fee regulations (PDF, 176 KB) of the Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung (NWBF) are also available for download (in German).

News from the Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung

Jahrestagung des Netzwerks Besucher*innenforschung zum Thema „Bildung im Museum. Datenerhebungen, Evaluationen und Begleitforschung: Welche Methoden passen zu welchem Projekt?“
© Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung e.V. / photothek / Kira Hofmann

NWBF Annual Conference in 2023: Review and Documentation


Exterior view Institut für Museumsforschung
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Institut für Museumsforschung / David von Becker

First Symposium of the Visitor Research Network on 24 April 2023


Visitor Research Network: Participants of the Annual Conference 2022 at the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn
© Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Foundation / Ralf Klodt

Successful Annual Conference in 2022: Digital Visitor Research!


Partners of the founding initiative met for this purpose at the Museum in der Kulturbrauerei in Berlin on 29 August 2022.
© Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland / Stephan Klonk

Visitor Research Network Founded as an Association


Call for Papers: Annual conference 2022 of the Netzwerk Besucher*innenforschung
© Marlitt Schulz, Stiftung Haus der Geschichte Bonn

Call for Papers: 2022 Annual Conference of the Visitor Research Network


Project management: Prof. Dr Patricia Rahemipour, Kathrin Grotz
Research team: Steffen Backhaus (until 02/2023); Maria Stölzer (since 05/2023)
Cooperation partners: DASA Working World Exhibition in Dortmund, Deutscher Museumsbund, Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Leibniz-Zentrum für Archäologie (LEIZA), Deutsches Museum Munich (represented via personal memberships: Jewish Museum Berlin, Hansemuseum Lübeck, Berliner Museumsverband e.V.).