Exploring Collections of Educational History

The BBF invites you to the »19th Symposium of School Museums and Collections of Educational History (SMCEH 19)« held at BBF, June 28–30, 2023.

At the 19th International Symposium on School Museums and Collections of Educational History (SMCEH19) with the topic »Exploring Collections on Educational History«, collections will be presented in their diverse materiality and history, untapped potential for interdisciplinary historical research will be highlighted, and collection-specific research and its results will be addressed.

With the emergence of the modern school system in the 19th century, educational collections were founded in numerous countries. Initially, their purpose as teachers' libraries, school museums, and collections of teaching materials was to provide practical support to educators and to contribute to the professionalization of teaching and schools. Steadily growing collections, which then were orientated to the needs of the time, have since differentiated into various branches of memory institutions. Many of today’s educational history museums, libraries, and archives in public ownership originate in associational or private initiatives.

The process of differentiation of the collections was due to practical requirements and probably also owed to the respective national and political as well as institutional framework conditions. This often led to a fragmentation of collections. Technical developments and digitization now allow a variety of possibilities to make the educational-historical traditions more visible, to understand their supra-regional and transnational relations, to reconstruct collections virtually and to make them accessible for research and education. 


(As of March 21, 2023)

Overview of all contributions with abstracts

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

08:30 Arrival and Registration

09:20 Welcome and Organizational Matters


Sabine Reh (Director of the BBF | Research Library for the History of Education at DIPF, Berlin, Germany)

Intro: Perspectives of the 1984-2019 School Museums Symposiums on Museum Collections of Educational History
Branko Šuštar, Maja Hakl Saje & Mateja Ribarič (Slovenian School Museum, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

TOPIC I: Collection Profiles and Collection Expansion

Contemporary Collecting and Use of Collections on Digital Platforms in the Kindergarten Museum
Susanna Gillberg & Fredrika Visuri (Ebeneser Foundation and Kindergarten Museum, Helsinki, Finnland)

Guiding the Gaze. The Research Center for Historical Visual Media at Wuerzburg University and the Future of Wall Chart Research
Katharina Uphoff (Wuerzburg University) & Michael Markert: (Thuringian University and State Library, Jena, Germany)

11:00 Coffee and Refreshments

The Relocation of the Museum as an Impulse for a Change of Perspective on the Creation of Collections
Martina Kočí (Museum of Education and Pedagogy, Bratislava, Slovakia)

TOPIC II: Research and Citizen Science I

History of School Clothes – Presentation of the Textile Collection of the Slovenian School Museum Through Permanent and Occasional Exhibitions
Marjetka Balkovec Debevec & Maja Hakl Saje: (Slovenian School Museum, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Educational Film Practice in Austria – Showcasing a Digital Educational Film Collection
Marie-Noëlle Yazdanpanah, Christian Dewald & Katrin Pilz: (University of Vienna and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History, Vienna, Austria)

13:00 Lunch

Collections of Children’s Drawings from São Paulo, Chicago and Berlin
Ingrid Dittrich Wiggers (University of Brasilia, Brazil)

Expanding Access to the Collection of the Pedagogical Museum of Ukraine Through Virtual Projects (on the Example of the "Accessible Funds of the Pedagogical Museum" Project)
Kira Stepanovych (Pedagogical Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine)

Defragmenting Cultural Heritage for Transnational Research

Kerstin Schwedes (Leibniz Institute for Educational Media | Georg Eckert Institute, Brunswick, Germany)

15:30   Coffee and Refreshments

Guided Tour of the BBF | Research Library for the History of Education

18:00   Joint Dinner at own Expense

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Field Trip to Reckahn

08:30   Bus Departure from Warschauer Straße

10:00   Coffee and Refreshments at Rekahn

TOPIC III: Regional and National Tradition in the History of Education

Country School – Museum – Research Center. 250 Years of Model School in Reckahn
Ariane Brill & Silke Siebrecht-Grabig (Reckahner Museen und Rochow Kultur Ensemble Reckahn, Germany)

Collecting Pedagogical Knowledge: Goals, Actors, and Collecting Practices of the German School Museum / German Teachers‘ Library in Berlin 1876-1914
Monika Mattes (BBF | Research Library for the History of Education at DIPF, Berlin, Germany)

The Research and Documentation Centre of South Tyrol's Educational History (FDZ/CDR) – Plurality at the Border
Annemarie Augschöll Blasbichler & Sarah Zannini (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)

12:00 Lunch

Guided Tours of School Museum & Permanent Exhibition in two Groups

14:30 Coffee and Time to Explore

15:30 Bus Departure for Berlin

18:00 Joint Dinner at own Expense 

Friday, June 30, 2023

Welcome and Organizational Matters

TOPIC IV: Presenting Collections and (Digital) Visibility

Unsettling History: From Digitization to Public Dialogue following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada
Pia Russel & Graham P. McDonough (University of Victoria, Canada)

Introducing the Digital Museum of Learning: Insights, Challenges, and Future Perspectives
Christina Thurman-Wild (Digital Museum of Learning (Jacobs Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland))

TOPIC V:  Research and Citizen Science II

Collections of Educational History – Who Collected Where, What and Under Which (Disciplinary) Label
Christiana Bers (University of Göttingen, Germany)

10:30 Coffee and Refreshments

Objects and Their Discourses: The Potentials of Objects for Children’s Historical Learning Processes in School Collections
Konstantin Keidel & Bernd Wagner, Klaus-Christian Zehbe (Leipzig University, Germany)

In the context of Education Museums – History of Education in Turkey & Turkey in the World History of Education

Seyma Aksoy (Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey & Guest Scientist, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)

Unveiling the Expansion of João de Deus Museum’s Book Collection
Elsa Rodrigues (João de Deus Museum, Lisbon, Portugal)

12:30 Lunch

History of Education on Postcards – An Unsuspected Source
Christian van Houwelingen, Janneke Pierhagen & Jacques Dane (Nationaal Onderwijsmuseum, Dordrecht, Netherlands)

Josef Albers and the Westfälische Schulmuseum
Jeffrey Saletnik (Indiana University Bloomington, USA)

Teaching Catalogs and Collections: A Way of Giving Objects a Voice. Reflection on the Intrahistory of Objects, Their Origins and Uses Beyond Their Description
José Martínez Ruiz-Funes (Universidad de Murcia, Spain), José Pedro Marín Murcia (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) & Francesca Davida Pizzigon (Instituto Nazionale di Documentazione, Innovazione e Ricerca Educativa (INDIRE), Florence, Italy)

15:30   Coffee and Refreshments


Time and Location

June 28-30, 2023

BBF | Research library for the History of Education at DIPF
Warschauer Str. 34
10243 Berlin
How to find us


Registration ends on June 10, 2023. The participation fee is 210 €. Payment is only possible by bank transfer. Included are the meals during the conference (except dinners) as well as the excursion to Reckahn. The number of participants is limited.

Participation is only possible after confirmation of the registration by the organizers and full payment of the participation fee. 

If the conference is fully booked, we will open a waiting list, on which we will include you on your request.