Past events
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Fascinating sound recordings can be found on the 7,500 records of the Lautarchiv of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Voices of historical personalities from the time of the German Empire, for example, or German dialects that have long since disappeared. Founded in 1920, the Lautarchiv also bears witness to the problematic aspects of scientific collecting and research: for example, the holdings include voice recordings of World War I prisoners of war from the colonies of Great Britain and France as well as from Russia, who were often forced to make such recordings. Recordings of German dialects from Eastern Europe made during the National Socialist era not only served linguistic research, but also played into the hands of the National Socialist policy of conquest.

Antonia von Trott zu Solz, co-curator of the inaugural exhibition After Nature at the Humboldt Lab, and Christopher Li, head of the Lautarchiv’s collection, debate how to deal with the collection’s holdings as part of the series One Object, Many Questions: What challenges arise in the custody and scholarly analysis of a collection consisting of thousands of shellac and some acetate records? What is the relevance of the collection, which was built up from the turn of the century until the GDR era, for current research? And what considerations have the curators made in order to make sensitive recordings accessible to visitors of the exhibition After Nature and at the same time inform them about the problems they pose?



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Practical notes

  • Meeting point & time

    The meeting point for guided tours and the location for workshops can be found on your booking confirmation. In order for the tour to begin punctually, please arrive 15 minutes before the programme is due to start. We ask that you allow for this additional quarter hour when planning your visit.