Category Archives: News

The Long Night of Science 2024 – ECHOING ARCHIVES

The Long Night of Sciences will take place again on 22 June 2024. The Collegium Hungaricum is celebrating its 100th anniversary by presenting the contents of archives in this context.

In addition to guided tours of the institution and an interactive sound installation, lectures will be offered. The Lautarchiv presents a sound recording from its collection by Robert Gragger, who founded the Collegium Hungaricum around 1924.

Date: 22 June
Time: 17:00 hrs
Place: Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Dorotheenstraße 12, 10117 Berlin

Please note that the event will be held in German.

Object of the Month: The Weiterbildungsprogramm-Archiv Berlin/Brandenburg der Abteilung Erwachsenenbildung/Weiterbildung – The creation and development of an active collection of Humboldt-Universität

Object of the Month 06/2024 

What learning and educational opportunities are there for adults? What topics do different providers offer as courses, events, seminars and workshops, for example on sustainability, social cohesion, culture or the requirements of the world of work between professional relevance and key qualifications? And for which target groups do they offer them? How can statements be made about topics and target groups that are and have been relevant in adult and continuing education – and therefore in society – in the past and present?

These questions can be answered through the analysis of programs (and the announcements of offers therein), which are usually published either as booklets or flyers by continuing education providers. They contain descriptions of the planned educational offers, information on participation modalities and often forewords that allow conclusions to be drawn about the educational program orientation of the providers.

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Fig. 1: Covers of various providers collected in the archive

Program archives collect continuing education programs, which are generally not systematically collected by municipal archives, libraries or the providers themselves, and make them available as primary research data. In this way, they aid the identification of structural developments and also document changes in the continuing education landscape. These were the two main goals of the founding of the Weiterbildungsprogramm-Archiv Berlin/Brandenburg in 1995. Wiltrud Gieseke, who founded the collection and held the department chair at that time, wanted to map the developments taking place after German reunification, including the merging of two different social, labor market and continuing education systems. For this purpose, it was necessary to actively collect the programs of continuing education providers from the states of Berlin and Brandenburg retroactively from 1990.

Today, the Weiterbildungsprogramm-Archiv (Archive of Programs of Continuing Education) comprises a collection of around 18,000 programs from more than 1,100 continuing education institutions and other providers of continuing education. The archive is actively collecting on an ongoing basis in accordance with its subject matter.

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Fig. 2: View of the archive room (also a workplace for users)

The collection is regularly used for research and theses and student groups visit the archive as part of their seminars.

In addition to our archive, there are two other program archives in German-speaking countries: the Volkshochschul-Programmarchiv am Deutschen Institut für Erwachsenenbildung – Leibniz-Zentrum für Lebenslanges Lernen (DIE) (Programme Archive of Adult Education Centers at the German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning) and the Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv (Austrian Archives for Adult Education). In contrast to these two collections, the Weiterbildungsprogramm-Archiv includes a wide range of different types of providers in addition to Volkshochschulen (adult education centers). For example, the programs of trade union, denominational and political institutions, chambers, non-profit associations as well as company and commercial providers are also archived here. This representation of different types of institutions makes the Weiterbildungsprogramm-Archiv unique.

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Fig. 3: Variety of institution types collected in the archive

The educational planners responsible for the continuing education programs identify socially relevant topics, interpret them and transform them into educational programs. Through the scientific examination of the published programs in the context of program analyses, it is precisely these interpretations of social issues and the associated ideas of educational needs and education that can be worked out. A research project at the Department (ÖkonoBi_EBWB_Pro, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research 05.23-01.24) shows this for economic and financial education, which is currently regarded as an important political and social means of achieving participation on the one hand, sustainability goals on the other and shaping social change. Thanks to the archive, it was possible to form a sample of over 800 offers from a wide range of providers within a short space of time. The 250 offers analyzed show differentiations and focal points of a developing content area – but also, thanks to the wide range of the sample, provider-specific profiles of the interpretation and placement of economic education.

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Fig. 4: Sample and topic categories from the ÖkonoBi_EBWB_Pro research project

The archive is being developed continuously: in addition to the mission statement and collection concept, a new database (which links institutions and individual programmes in a branched and differentiated manner) and a pilot project to store website data from institutions (trend towards digitized publication of offers), this currently includes work on a comprehensive inventory analysis. This is linked to the aim of mapping changes in the dynamic continuing education market from an educational science perspective.

The archive is integrated into the ‘Expert:innengruppe Programmforschung’ (panel of experts on program research), a network with the other two archives mentioned above and department chairs active in program research, as well as into the structures that exist and continue to develop via the adult education laws in Berlin (2021) and for Brandenburg (amended 2024).

On principle, the Weiterbildungsprogramm-Archiv is open to all interested parties. If you would like to gain an impression of the collection yourself, you are invited to visit the archive on June 5 or June 12 between 12:00 and 14:00. In addition, the Weiterbildungsprogramm-Archiv will introduce itself as part of the Abteilung Erwachsenenbildung/Weiterbildung at this year’s Long Night of the Sciences (June 22, 2024, 17:00 – 21:00 in the auditorium of the Grimm-Zentrum).

Prof. Dr. Aiga von Hippel | Head of Collection
PD Dr. Marion Fleige | Scientific Scholarly Supervision
Annika Müllner M.A. | Archival Information Specialist

E-Mail: or


Visitor address:
Institut für Erziehungswissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 7
10117 Berlin
Room 313

Sharon Macdonald admitted to the Academia Europaea and elected as Vice-Chair of the Academic Committee of the House of European History

Sharon Macdonald, Professor of Social Anthropology with a focus on museums and cultural heritage at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Director of the Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, has been nominated for membership of the Academia Europaea for her “outstanding achievements as a researcher”. “I was delighted to be nominated and very happy to accept the invitation. As a member, I look forward to contributing to the Academy’s important work,” said Professor Macdonald, who has been conducting research at Humboldt-Universität since 2015.

The Academia Europaea was founded in 1988 and is based in London. It is made up of around 4,500 outstanding European academics and academics trained in Europe, who are nominated by a committee of experts and invited to become members. The aim of the Academy is to promote European research, to advise governments and international organizations on scientific issues and to advance interdisciplinary and international research.

In addition to her membership of the Academia Europaea, Sharon Macdonald was also appointed Vice-Chair of the Academic Committee at the House of European History in Brussels, where she has been a member of the committee since 2019. The museum was established in 2017 on the initiative of the European Parliament and provides information about the common past and present of European countries as well as the challenges and opportunities of the future. Here, the social anthropologist will use her expertise to advise the museum’s academic project team on all historical and museological issues.

Sharon Macdonald’s research focuses on the politics and dissemination of cultural heritage, complex histories and contested collections. She is currently working on issues of pluralization and different concepts of heritage, as well as artistic approaches. She holds a chair at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University, is an honorary professor at the University of Aberdeen, a research associate at the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford and was recently a visiting professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In Berlin, together with Prof. Eva Ehninger, she heads the Centre for Advanced Study “inherit. heritage in transformation”, which started in January 2024 and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as a Käte Hamburger Kolleg.

Further information on the Academia Europaea and the House of European History

Object of the Month: A marble bust becomes a miniature – a 3D project to mark the 200th birthday of physicist Robert Gustav Kirchhoff

Object of the Month 04/2024

A bust of the physicist Robert Gustav Kirchhoff (1824-1887), created in 1888 by the Berlin sculptor Carl Begas, is kept in the stacks of the Kustodie. Until 1929, it stood in the row of other marble busts of honoured professors of the university in the old Aula.
To mark the 200th anniversary of Kirchhoff’s birth, the bust was awakened from its sleep and subjected to a 3D scan. To do this, the work had to be repositioned in the magazine and could be scanned manually without contact using the correct distance, coordinated lighting and a good eye. This difficult task was undertaken by Prof. em. Dr Manfred Paasch, former head of the foundry laboratory at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences, and his former colleague Bernhard Bienia.
Using the EVA-Artec optical 3D scanner, the surface of the bust was scanned by means of slow, sweeping and rotating movements. A turntable was also used to reach all surfaces.

When scanning on site, it was important that the individual scans had overlapping areas so that the individual patches could be joined together through many iteration steps. For 3D printing, the data was processed in STL format, a special format for mesh coordinates of three-dimensional data models that depicts the surface of the object using a large number of small triangles.

The 3D printer’s software then had to be used to scale the data and define technological specifications such as layer thickness, extruder temperature, auxiliary geometries (support) and more. Layer by layer, the model with a size of 33% was created from the plasticised plastic – in 27 hours of printing time. Finally, technologically necessary supports and auxiliary structures had to be removed.

A nice gimmick or what’s the point?
The 3D print was initially produced as part of the 200th birthday celebrations of Robert Gustav Kirchhoff. However, the bust of Carl Begas could also be used to honour Kirchhoff’s memory. At the suggestion of the former president of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences, Prof. em. Gerhard Ackermann, it could serve as a model for a bust on Kirchhoff’s grave monument that no longer exists today.
It may have been the model for the bronze bust cast by Bernhard Römer in 1889, which is no longer in situ. The marble bust of the HU, which is over 130 years old, could therefore possibly still be an important starting object for a moulding and subsequent bronze casting. The Kirchhoff project thus not only combines old sculptural art with modern digital printing technology, but may also give rise to a new work using traditional hand-casting techniques. The story goes on…

Text and photos: Christina Kuhli/ Manfred Paasch

inherit: New call for Fellows started!

The Käte Hamburger Kolleg | Centre for Advanced Study inherit. heritage in transformation, based at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, invites applications from both experienced and early career post-doc researchers for fellowships to begin in October 2025. The application deadline is 29 April 2024

Applications for fellowships for 2025–6 should address questions of inheritance – such as, its legal, economic, material and biological dimensions and implications; its articulation with generation(s) and related concepts and practices, as well as with certain conceptions of time and space; its mobilization for constructions of identity and, or justifications for exclusions; its visualization or other multimodal renderings; and alternative (‘inheritance otherwise’) or overlapping notions and practices. Applications should also relate to one or more of our guiding themes: decentring the west, decentring the human, and transforming value. Successful projects are likely to be based in original empirical or archival study/analysis of source material (which may have already been undertaken) or creative work.

Researchers and topics from areas currently underrepresented in heritage scholarship, including the global South and Eastern Europe, are especially encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from artists, film-makers and curators.

For more information about the call, see

Photo: inherit – Sharon Macdonald & Eva Ehninger. (c) Michelle Mantel

DZK-Project “Towards Sonic Resocialization” at the Lautarchiv

The German Lost Art Foundation is funding the research project “Towards Sonic Resocialization” at the Berlin Lautarchiv from 1.3.2024 to 28.2.2026. For the first time, the focus of the research is not on objects but on sound recordings. The Lautarchiv is examining its collection of recordings of prisoners of war from the First World War who were recruited for the armies of European powers in the colonies. These include 456 sound recordings of African prisoners in German camps.

The digitized recordings and the associated historical written documentation are to be shared with the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire in Dakar, Senegal, as well as with other African archives in the future. In the course of this, the existing metadata of the sound archive will also be subject to a critical decolonizing onomastication. This requires questioning and revising the categories and terminologies that emerged in the course of colonisation.

Proactive exchange and cooperation with the respective source communities are particularly important to the project right from the start. Individuals from the countries of origin are employed to translate the recorded texts and documentation. Provenance research is also carried out on the places of origin of the colonial soldiers and genealogical research is conducted to determine possible descendants.

The project aims to create a model for the future handling of colonial heritage in sound archives. In the future, this will be done not only with recordings of speakers from the African continent but also with all colonial recordings in the Lautarchiv.


Shellac record Lautarchiv – Photo © Christopher Li

Time for knowledge exchange with society: Open Humboldt Freiräume funds 2 professors and 1 postdoc

The Open Humboldt Freiräume funding line is based at the HZK since summer 2023. The funded projects and researchers of the current call for proposals of the Open Humboldt Freiräume funding line have now been selected. The Open Humboldt Circle of Experts has made a funding recommendation for three applications. The university management has followed this recommendation and will fund the following projects in the summer semester 2024 and winter semester 2024/2025:

  • Prof. Dr Gökce Yurdakul, Faculty of Cultural, Social and Educational Sciences, Institute of Social Sciences, Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM);
    Project: Intersectional Politics: Civil Society Organisations of Immigrants and their Commitment to Refugee Women and Children from Ukraine (INTERSECT) (summer semester 2024)
  • Prof. Dr iur. Gregor Bachmann, LL.M., Faculty of Law;
    Project: Dresscode: Legal dress for civil society (WS 2024/25)
  • Dr Mats Küssner, Faculty of Cultural, Social and Educational Sciences, Institute of Musicology and Media Studies;
    Project: Live Music meets Augmented Reality: Enriching the aesthetic processes of the concert experience with digital technologies (WS 2024/25)

For more information on the funded projects, please visit the Open Humboldt Freiräume website:

The next call for applications will be launched in the summer 2024. The funded researchers will each receive a teaching reduction to 0 SWS for the summer semester 2025 or winter semester 2025/26. The funding line is financed by the Berlin University Alliance.

Time is What you Make of it – Foto © Matthias Heyde

Object of the Month: From Invalidenstrasse 110 to Adlershof. A house facade and the morphological model of an ideal crystal

Object of the Month 02/2024
Fig. 1 Crystal general view
Fig. 1 Crystal general view. Photo: Dr. Holm Kirmse
The model (see fig. 1) shows the ideal shape of a crystal. This is a combination of three crystal shapes that can be found in the cubic crystal system. The cube catches the eye first because of the size of the faces. In crystallography, it is called a hexahedron because it is bounded by six identical faces. The second form is a tetrahedron (bounded by 4 faces). The third shape is bounded by twelve identical faces and is called a rhombdodecahedron. The individual faces of the three shapes can be given indices. Miller’s indices correspond to the reciprocal values of the intersection points of a given face with the axes x, y and z: In the cubic crystal system these three axes are perpendicular to each other and are of equal length. In case of the rhombdodecahedron, an individual face always intersects two axes in the same ratio, while the third axis is not intersected. The axis intersections are therefore 1 : 1 : ∞. The reciprocal values are 1 : 1 : 0. If the axes are chosen accordingly, Miller indices (110) – say “one one oh” – are obtained for the face oriented towards the observer.
Arrangement of lattice planes inside a hexahedron and corresponding Miller indices. Source: Wikipedia - File: Miller Indices Ebenen.png - Created: 27 March 2006 (The original uploader was Noamik in the German Wikipedia) CC BY-SA 3.0
The mathematical consideration of the symmetry properties of crystals can not only be expressed in formulas, some people also see these shapes in completely different contexts. And that brings us to Invalidenstrasse 110: Before the Institute of Physics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin moved to its current location at Campus Adlershof in 2003, it was housed as the Institute of Physics and Electronics in the building Invalidenstrasse 110 at the junction with Chausseestrasse (see photo below right). The Institute of Crystallography with its research focus on crystal growth and crystal characterization was also part of the institute. The crystallography course was supported by an extensive teaching collection. Today, crystallography is part of the specialization in solid state physics in the Master’s degree course in physics. The crystallography teaching collection does further exist.
Fig. 2 Crystal
Fig. 2 (left): Identical polyhedron model seen from a different perspective. For guiding the eyes, the (110) face is highlighted. The face above exhibits an irregular hexagon. It belongs to the tetrahedron and is assigned by the Miller indices (111). For better imagination see the schematic drawings shown above depicting the arrangement of faces (100), (110), and (111). Photo: Dr. Holm Kirmse
Fig. 3 House facade Inv. 110
Fig. 3 (right): Facade of the institute building Invalidenstrasse 110. Photo: Oliver Zauzig

The facade of the former institute building with its faces parallel to Invalidenstrasse and Chausseestrasse exhibits a 45° cut off at the junction, creating an additional third face in which the main entrance is located. Whether intentional or not: if you lay the axis system along the edges of the building, then the Miller indices of this third face correspond exactly to the house number of the building. What now reads like one of the countless conspiracy stories is probably pure coincidence. It is well known that “one one oh” is also the telephone number of the police, physicists and chemists recognize the element Darmstadtium in it and as a binary system it plays an important role in computer science. And if you do recognize a connection between the ideal shape of a crystal and the facade of the building, it should be noted not only that the building was built in 1981 according to information from the Technical Department, but also that there was an inn called “Zum Kuhstall” at this address before 1920, at least according to research conducted by Foto Marburg.

In December 2023, the HU’s Technical Department handed over the property at Invalidenstrasse 110 to the Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing for the upcoming conversion and refurbishment measures. These are planned to be carried out over the next five years.

Author: Dr. Holm Kirmse

Head of Crystallographic Teaching Collection
Newtonstrasse 15
12489 Berlin

Polyhedron model combination cube-tetrahedron-rhombic dodecahedron in “Sammlungen digital”:

Corner of Chausseestraße/Invalidenstraße in the Technical Department of the HU: and

Restaurant “Zum Kuhstall” in photo archive Foto Marburg:

THEATRE OF MEMORY – A neuro-acoustic sound network by Tim Otto Roth at TAT

In the auditorium of the Tieranatomisches Theater (Veterinary Anatomy Theater), the “Theatre of Memory” forms an extraordinary microtonal ensemble: 70 spherical, colourfully illuminated loudspeakers ‘listen’ to each other and excite or inhibit each other via their characteristic sine tones, analogous to nerve cells.

In the immersive sound laboratory, current neuroscientific research can not only be experienced, but music literally becomes nervous: an entire room is transformed into a network of interacting sounds that reflect the fundamental processes in nerve cells that make us sentient and thinking beings. The walk-in sound space composed of communicating loudspeakers not only makes it possible to immerse yourself in the network structure, but also to interact with it via tones and noises.

Duration of the exhibition: 12 January to 10 March 2024.

Further information about the exhibition can be found on the website of the Tieranatomisches Theater.

Theatre of Memory @ TAT
Theatre of Memory @ TAT – Photo: (c) Tim Otto Roth, imachination projects, 2023

Research topic “Water”: Call for contributions across all disciplines

The Berlin University Alliance (BUA) cordially invites all members of the four partner universities in the design of a joint format as part of Objective 2 “Fostering Knowledge Exchange”. An inter- and transdisciplinary exhibition project with “Water” as its central topic is currently being developed in collaboration with the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik (HZK) at HU and the Humboldt Labor team for 2025.

To enable the project to incorporate the ideas and expertise of all BUA partners, we would like to get an overview of the research being carried out at the four institutions dealing with the element of water in the narrower and broader sense – for example in terms of the properties of water, its functions e.g. as a catalyst or as a carrier substance, water infrastructures, or water with ecological, political, social, as well as historical, cultural, aesthetic or religious implications.

We look forward to receiving numerous and wide-ranging responses from you, regardless of the stage of your academic career.

We ask all researchers, doctoral candidates and students who feel that this topic isrelevant to them and who would like to contribute to it by sharing their research with a broader public to submit an initial expression of interest here by Feb. 15, 2024.

At this stage we are simply looking to gain an overview of available research and would later on approach you with a shortlist of questions (6 questions). You are of course free to decide at a later stage whether you would like to be more closely involved in this project or not. First of all, we would like to make sure to draw a broad and diverse picture as possible of the lively research at the BUA institutions. We would therefore be very pleased to have you participate in this quest. For further questions please contact Leonie Kubigsteltig or Xenia Muth, working in the field of knowledge exchange at HZK:

Prof. Dr. Eva Ehninger,
on behalf of Objective 2 “Fostering Knowledge Exchange” (BUA)

Expression of interest project “Water”

Image: Interactive curtain in the entrance area of the Humboldt Laboratory © HU / schnellebuntebilder. Photo: Philipp Plum