Since its inception in 2002, The Wende Museum has assembled a significant collection of rare audiovisual media formats, ranging from commercially produced films and audio recordings, to government sponsored educational film strips, to home movies, photographs, and slides.
The Wende is in a race against time to acquire and preserve these rapidly deteriorating artifacts. Audiovisual materials are particularly vulnerable to climate fluctuations and the effects of age. Yet, these materials offer a unique insight into life behind the Iron Curtain. They are simultaneously historical records, works of art, and essential representations of a disappearing culture.
In 2008, with support from the Arcadia Trust, The Wende Museum began the specialized work of digitizing its Audiovisual Collection, using the latest in reservation techniques and technology. Each item is inspected, cataloged, digitized, and placed in archival storage to promote long-term preservation of the original media for future generations. The digital files will be the focus of new programming, available for scholarship, and accessible to an international audience through the Wende’s website.