From November, 29th, to December, 5th, director of the National Library of Belarus R. Motulsky and deputy director for research work and publishing activity A. Susha paid a professional visit to Berlin.
The information travel “Preserving the cultural heritage, showing the art, developing the culture of memory” was arranged with the purpose of acquaintance with activities of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and subordinate organizations.
The most important event was a visit to the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin), which functions as the national library of Germany, and signing of the Memorandum of cooperation between the National Library of Belarus and the Berlin State Library.
Roman Motulsky and Alexander Susha took part in the meeting and negotiations for cooperation with director of the German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum). On an example of the exhibition devoted to the First World War, the experience in carrying out international exhibition projects with the use of documentary monuments was studied.
The German-Russian museum “Berlin-Karlshorst” (Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst) devoted to the history of the Second World War is especially interesting to Belarus. Belarusian sources are very widely presented at the museum exposition and attract the attention of people who are not familiar with our country at all. The museum’s exhibits tell about the war on the Eastern front from 1941 to 1945, and also reveal the history of Soviet-German relations before the Second World War and post-war relations between the Soviet Union, the GDR and Germany.
The visitors studied the experience of the Contemporary Museum “The Hamburg Railway Station” (Hamburger Bahnhof) located in Moabit (Berlin). “The Hamburg Railway Station” is one of the most popular museums of modern art in the world. Exhibitions of works by modern Belarusian and foreign artists held in art galleries of the National Library of Belarus is an opportunity to use the experience of the Contemporary Museum to attract private collectors and patrons to large art projects.
The experience of the Jewish Museum in Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin) devoted to two thousand years of the German-Jewish history is very interesting to Belarus as well. The museum includes a permanent exposition, temporary exhibitions, an extensive archive, an educational center named after Raphael Roth, and premises for research work.
The presentation and meeting at the exhibition design agency Neo Studio which develops expositions and museum and gallery design was an important experience as well. According to the prospects of development of social and cultural activities of the National Library of Belarus, the question of redesigning the Library’s Book Museum and art galleries is extremely urgent.
In view of the experience of libraries, museums and other cultural institutions of Berlin, the most perspective and expedient directions of cooperation in the immediate future are the following:
- search of Belarusian national documents in the electronic catalogue of the State Library of Berlin, an exchange of digital copies of documents concerning the book culture of Belarus and Germany;
- accelerated development programs on national bibliography, a summary electronic catalogue, a system of corporate cataloguing, and the national electronic library with the attraction of bibliographic and full text resources of foreign libraries;
- exhibitions of most valuable book monuments from the collections of the Berlin State Library in the Book Museum of the National Library of Belarus (in particular editions by European first printers on the occasion of the anniversary of Belarusian book printing in 2017);
- participation of employees and heads of the Berlin State Library in the international congress “The library as a cultural phenomenon”;
- exchange of specialists between Belarusian and German libraries for reforming of the national library system.