Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology and The Ethnographic Collection
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Tanzmaske (Initiationskostüm) der Yaka, Provinz Congo, Angola,
erworben 1939.
Foto: Harry Haase



Ethnographic Collection


The Ethnographic Collection of the University of Göttingen is one of the most significant Teaching and Research collections in the German-speaking sphere. Its beginnings reach back into the time of the Enlightenment.

Thanks is due to the Göttingen nature researcher J.F. Blumenbach, whose initiative in the second half of the 18th century led to the procurement of cultural artifacts from the South Seas (Cook/Forster collection) and the arctic polar region (Baron von Asch collection). These two unique old collections form the emphasis of Göttingen's Ethnological Collection and substantiate its international reputation.
The extensive collection of 17000 Ethnographica from the past, shown in their entirety, allow us to take a look at the cultural and artistic creations of a plethora of non-European ethnicities.

Above all, the Göttingen Collection serves as a valuable source for teaching and research. Beyond that it is even available to the public, insofar as the space and financial limitations allow, in the form of permanent and special exhibitions and also tours. Lectures and film presentations - in conjunction with the Göttingen Society for Ethnology (GGV) - complement the informational offerings.

The permanent exhibition has been newly renovated and, as of February 6th, 2000, once again completely accessible. Spanning two levels it now represents regions of America, Asia, Australia, Oceania, and Africa. A reversion to the old display cases from the collection's founding period, in conjunction with the application of modern museum-didactics and technology, results in a fascinating exhibition.

For inquiries about the collection please contact the curator Dr. Gundolf Krüger.