Historical Everyday Culture: Collection and Preservation

In addition to the re-erection, maintenance and presentation of historical buildings, the LWL-Open-Air Museum Detmold has set up a comprehensive collection of historical everyday items that is unrivalled in Westphalia and beyond.

This collection consists of more than 300,000 items. Presently, however, the museum can only present the visitors about five percent of its inventory. For secure preservation, these items have to be stored in safe depots.

The collection inventory of the museum consists of:

  • rural and civic shops like groceries, general stores, pharmacies and drugstores  
  • constructional components and findings: Not least amongst these are 300 ancient windows dated from the 16th to the 20th century
  • clothing, home and work textiles
  • household appliances and working equipment, furniture
  • vehicles of all kind, ranging from hay cart to sleigh, from fire engine to dairy cart
  • school reports, pupils’ caps, blackboards and further items of school life
  • popular editions of devotional pictures, memorial pages, documents and trading pictures 
  • inheritances of dissolved clubs and societies – like choral societies, shooting clubs or sports clubs
  • “rainy day items” of the last war and past-war period
  • complete rooms of young people of the year 1999 that were collected and documented in detail for a project called „ZimmerWelten“ (chamber worlds)

Our Documentation Department, dedicated to the registration and administration of the inventory,  is currently developing  a new EDP inventory system.