Currently holding about 350.000 objects, 200.000 images, and 350.000 library elements, the three ethnological museums in Leipzig, Dresden, and Herrnhut form the second largest collection of its kind in Germany. Researching these inventories in collaboration with international partners is a fundamental part of our self-conception and mission. In this section, we present ongoing and completed research projects as well as concepts that are important to us.

What does decolonisation mean for us?


The Saxon State Ethnographic Museums (SES) would like to contribute to addressing the colonial history of ethnological museums and actively position themselves in the context of the international debates.

Here we outline a number of concepts that are important to us in working towards the decolonization of the museum.

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Historic Inventories online

hso english teaser

With a new online platform, the Saxon State Ethnographic Collections (SES) are making historical documents from Saxony's ethnological museums accessible to the public. The digitisation of the documentation inventories is an important base for provenance research about the objects in the collections of the three museums in Leipzig, Dresden, and Herrnhut.

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[Translate to English:] Link zur Restaurierungsseite

The restoration department is responsible for the maintenance of over 300.000 objects in the collections of the three ethnological museums in Saxony. It forms an important part of the research of material cultural heritage. In the restoration workshops in Leipzig and Dresden restorators handle a wide range of materials, such as textiles, leather, plant fibres, wood, metal, and ceramics.

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Dresden Carpet Nights


This series of discussion nights takes place every three months. Talks and presentations on history, aesthetics, classifying and manufacturing carpets allow you to intensely look into the material as well as functional diversity of these fascinating cultural goods.

Learn more (German only)

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Simone Jansen

Information on using the depot


In order to facilitate a productive visit and effective work with the objects and collection bundles, we would like to take this opportunity to explain important contexts that determine the use of the SES’ depots and archives. At the moment, loan requests can unfortunately only be processed in exceptional cases.

download important info on using the depot

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
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