Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik

Zentralinstitut der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Collection Portal

The web portal maintained by the Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques provides an overview of the collections of the Humboldt-Universität, as well as information on related activities, individuals and institutes.

Embedded in the portal is the cross-collections database Cabinets of Knowledge, which the Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques began developing in 1999. It covers the historical and current collections of the Humboldt-Universität, the individual objects in the collections, relevant persons, and events, thereby establishing a nexus between the history of the collections and of the institution. The collections are presented as part of a university-wide network of knowledge.

The database’s unique features include a cross-collection thesaurus linking objects from different collections; its often impressively thorough data resources on each object; a term-search function that facilitates use for experts and non-experts alike; and the incorporation of former university collections. Additionally, documentation of the use of collection objects in projects, such as the major exhibition »Theatrum Naturae et Artis« (2000/2001), are accessible through the portal. The database was used as a research tool for various other exhibitions in the past, for example  »Anders zur Welt kommen« (2009) and »Weltwissen«  (2010), as well as in current preparations of the opening exhibition of the Humboldt Forum.

The database acts as a service tool for the Humboldt-Universität collections and simultaneously provides a digital knowledge-architecture interconnecting collections from different disciplines.