Historic Museums Hamburg Foundation
9 sites I 12 centuries I 1 foundation
The Historic Museums Hamburg Foundation one of the largest city and regional historic museum complexes in Europe. With more than five million objects from past centuries in their collections, the foundation’s museums provide an impressive opportunity to tell the history of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, to show both national and European aspects and to see the city in its international context.
German Port Museum
With the new German Port Museum, the international museums landscape will be gaining a prestigious museum for the commercial and economic history of Germany’s largest port.
Development boost for the Historic Museums Hamburg
One of the most important aims of the foundation is to provide visitors to the individual museums with the best possible quality of stay through high-quality exhibitions, innovative event formats and modern, barrier-free facilities. This will require a series of modernisation measures in the coming years which will include both structural and conceptual improvements. With the help of Federal Government funding as well as funds of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Historic Museums Hamburg Foundation can now get started on a full scale modernisation of the Museum for Hamburg History, the Museum of Work, the Jenisch House and the Altonaer Museum.
Every one of the wide variety of museums run by the Historic Museums Hamburg has its own distinct character and premises. That means a whole range of unusual venues and spaces is also available for lectures, congresses, events and private occasions.
Science and research
Smoke Signs – the historical archive of Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken
From tobacco to cigarette
Since 1910, the cigarette maker Cigarettenfabrik Reemtsma has been producing popular brands such as R6, Ernte 23, Peter Stuyvesant and West. Recently, the company’s photo archive moved to the Museum der Arbeit, where it is gradually being made available to the general public. The collection includes pictures of cigarette manufacturing, photos documenting the history of the business, images from the countries where tobacco is harvested, all of which provide an unparalleled insight into how tobacco is grown and processed into an industrially-manufactured mass product.
Old Hamburg Online
Digitisation of the works and collection of Ebba Tesdorpf
The artist Ebba Tesdorpf (1851-1920) owned one of the most important collections of Hamburgensia of the late 19th century. With generous support from the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, it has been possible since 2012 to perform the first ever scholarly classification of the collection‘s graphic works which are so central to Hamburg history.
A key task of museums is to ascertain the origin (provenance) of their holdings. Since 2011, the Museum of Hamburg History has investigated objects in its collection which were acquired between 1933 and 1945 and may therefore have found their way into the museum in particular from Jewish owners under threat of persecution, financial despoliation and forced emigration.
Transfer of Knowledge
Knowledge management for the Historic Museums Hamburg Foundation
The knowledge store of the Historic Museums Hamburg Foundation is a rather complex and heterogeneous conglomerate. The museums dispose of both their objects and a multitude of information about history and historic events, evolution, developments, connections, cultural tools and civil techniques.
Educational activities for adults and children
In addition to collecting, carrying out research and preserving our cultural heritage, one of the most important roles for all museums is to educate. The different sites of the Historic Museums Hamburg are all particularly focused on giving visitors of all ages an insight into different aspects of history and culture.
Museum Service Hamburg
A total of 22 Hamburg museums now benefits from the central visitor service run by the Museum Service, which also coordinates museum education programmes at the Altonaer Museum, the Museum for Hamburg History, the Museum of Work and at their branches in the Port Museum and the Jenisch House.
Catalogues and accompanying publications also offer the opportunity to showcase the significance of particular parts of the collections in depth and to go beyond the limitations of the actual exhibition they have been produced for. For example, the special catalogue designed for a joint exhibition put on by the Altonaer Museum, the Museum for Hamburg History and the Museum of Work entitled “Hamburg in photography” combines three accompanying publications and, for the first time, deals with the full scope of special parts of the photographic collections in all three museums.
A new series of brochures about the most important objects at the Historic Museums Hamburg presents sensational exhibits from the collections which are of interest on urban and cultural history levels and explains them in detail. The series kicked off with a publication about the Lukas Cup from the Hamburg Artists Society of 1832, which has recently been bought by the Historic Museums Hamburg for the Museum of Hamburg History collection.
Hamburg History Live
Since the year 2015 the Foundation has been publishing a special magazine entitled “Hamburg History Live”. This quality magazine for Hamburg, the region and the North will cover special topics relating to Hamburg’s urban history, current exhibitions and ongoing scientific projects in the form of exciting stories and documentary reports and with lots of illustrations.