The Federal Republic of Germany is home to several hundred centers of local history or “Heimatsammlungen” (homeland collections), which were founded after the end of the Second World War by refugees, displaced persons and ethnic German repatriates. The documentation of the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE) in this online resource comprehensively covers these small museum institutions and provides an overview of their holdings.
The documented local history centers or “Heimatsammlungen” (homeland collections) are home to memorabilia of various kinds, as well as historically, artistically or ethnologically valuable objects, books and archives—often unique pieces. Some of the items were taken with people as they escaped, many were acquired later through purchases or during visits to former places of residence, so that, over the intervening decades, a number of collections have been created, some of which are extensive.
One of the project's goals was the complete compilation and presentation of all existing “Heimatsammlungen” in Germany. Included were also those collections that no longer exist today as independent institutions. Each individual collection is characterized by a brief outline of its history and a (summary) documentation of its holdings.