Cultural diversity and heritage

Whether in objects, archives or libraries – the world is full of cultural treasures. One of the most important tasks of the humanities and social sciences is to discover, examine, preserve and make this cultural diversity accessible to both scholars and to the public.

Antike Statue; © thinkstock


Who are we? Where do we come from? What makes us special – then as now? Our cultural heritage reflects our values, norms, symbols and forms of communication, the basis of all socialisation. They create the common basis for social cohesion and, at the same time, for the discussion and assessment of implementation options, decisions and evaluations. Again and again.

For years, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has supported academics in keeping this cultural heritage alive and has launched several funding programmes to this end: "eHeritage," "The Language of Objects," and the "Alliance for University Collections."


Since 2016, around EUR 11 million have already been invested and, with a new call for proposals as of May 2019, a further EUR 4 million is available for the eHeritage funding programme. The aim is to expand the digitisation of cultural heritage objects which have research relevance, to develop them and make them accessible to the international academic community. The new projects are expected to start in 2020.

"The Language of Objects"

Since 2012, the BMBF has invested in all a good €50 million euro in research into and preservation of the cultural heritage in the Federal Republic of Germany by means of the three "Language of Objects" funding programmes.

"Alliance for University Collections"

At present, there are over 1193 collections in 77 universities, in which several million objects are preserved and used. In 2015, the BMBF issued the funding guideline "Vernetzen - Erschließen - Forschen. Allianz für universitäre Sammlungen" (Networking – Exploring – Researching. Alliance for University Collections) and selected 15 projects for funding, which were launched between autumn 2016 and spring 2017.