The focus of our research is cultural contexts and relations, and changes in the lived realities of people in Europe from the 18th century to the present day. Our work is based in cultural history and very much centred around the object itself, although questions related to immaterial culture are becoming increasingly important. Areas of particular interest are the study of textiles, visual culture, photography, religion and the social sciences. All of the museum’s work—from exhibiting to conservation and education—requires research.

Through our research, we hope to continually expand our collection and our knowledge about its contents, e.g., by taking a new, cross-disciplinary approach to how we look at historical objects and by collecting objects from the present day. We also research the objects’ biographies, work together with contemporary witnesses and undertake regular field and archival research.

Our research work is grounded in the concept of exchanging, expanding and communicating knowledge. To this end, we take part in interdisciplinary, international research projects and are engaged in teaching at university level.

The museum’s objects and documents, as well as recordings of immaterial culture and our extensive specialised library offer a good basis for a variety of research activities. Internal research findings as well as those from third parties have been published in numerous articles, and inventory and exhibition catalogues.

Publications of the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (in German) Download PDF

Publications of the institutions that preceded the MEK (in German) Download PDF

Many of our publications can be found in the Bibliography of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Research projects at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen

Diverging Fates: Travelling Circus People in Europe under National Socialism

Project name: Diverging Fates: Travelling Circus People in Europe under National Socialism
Contact: coordinated by the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki
Funding: IHRA, Fondation pour le Mémorial de la Shoah, the Finnish Academy and the Finnish Kone Foundation
Duration: 2017 – 2018
Partners: International collaboration, performance acts on the International  Museum Day in May 2017 at the Museum of European Cultures