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Here in the DDR Museum are many workplaces. Mine (the office), the till, the DDR-Restaurant Domklause, the exhibition... and one that I mostly don't keep in mind: The archive.
The Head of the Collection Ms. Strohl and her colleague Ms. Strauch look
after it. Almost daily both of them are archival to clean it up or rearrange
it, to sort it and prepare everything for the storage. Unfortunetaly the
archive is a fair way off so that we - the office workers - only catch sight
of it very rarely. When should a publicist have 20 minutes off during working hours to take the train or drive by company car through the city?
A short while ago I was lucky to accompany Ms. Strohl as "last-minute
temporary help in adversity". After our arrival she gave me a little tour
through the different rooms and I was well impressed by the precision and system everything is in place.
For me absolutely vast there were lots of high shelves, even more
(acid-free!) cartons and many well-preserved pieces of furniture.
Just imagine you look for... let's just say... a biro from the GDR in all these
shelves and cartons. Then my colleague looks in a database, notes down the room, shelf and box, goes purposefully through the rooms, climbs on a ladder, pulls out a carton and already she holds a selection of biros in her hands.
There's longlasting work behind it! Taking hundreds of donations, arrange and label them, research pieces of information, type them into the database, put them away and so on and so forth! As an amateur you tend to forget this since picking out the objects happens so easily!