The digital availability of our collection is an important concern to us. We are working on showing our collection information online. On this page we report about our next steps.


The finding aids of our file archive are accessible online via the Potsdam project „Archivführer deutsche Kolonialgeschichte“ (Archive guide German colonial history).

To „Archivführer deutsche Kolonialgeschichte“ (Archive guide German colonial history)

Inventory lists

In the predecessor institutions and also in the early years of today’s Übersee-Museum, there were many attempts of classification. Index cards, paper lists and books can be found. Some mainly manage the data of the collection incoming, others are related to the individual objects. It was not until the 1930s that the inventory books were created, which are still used today. All the objects in the collection have been listed and information gathered here, so we decided to scan them first and make them available as a resource. Please note that some terminology, for example in object names or geographical attributions, may be of colonial origin or may be outdated for other reasons and so are no longer used by us today.

Inventory (Africa Collection)

Pages 1 to 99 (as PDF, not WCAG compliant) Pages 100 to 199 (as PDF, not WCAG compliant) Pages 200 to 299 (as PDF, not WCAG compliant) Pages 300 to 386 (as PDF, not WCAG compliant)

Provenance research

With the support of the VW foundation and the German center for the loss of cultural property, projects on provenance research are taking place at the Übersee-Museum. An article about the task of provenance research was published in the journal of the “Deutschen Museumsbundes” (German museums association) in February 2020:
Wiebke Ahrndt, Bettina von Briskorn, Patrick Hege, colonial provenance as a challenge. Approaches to sensitive collections, in: “Museumskunde” (Museum studies) 2.2020 (Topic: current expectations of collection work. Provenance research. Transparency and participation),
S. 14–21.