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Students attended the Conference "Archive Pedagogy in Migration Society" at the NRW State Archive in Duisburg

Germany is a country of immigration! On the 14th and 15th of June 2024, representatives from archives, schools and other educational institutions met in Duisburg for the 35th Archive Pedagogy Conference on the topic of "Archive Pedagogy in Migration Society"!

With more than 100 people, the number of participants reached a record high! For two days, there were intensive discussions on how archival education can deal with migration history and how archives can better depict migration and include all population groups for this purpose. An interesting topic, which is why 22 students from the 4th and 6th semesters of Archival Studies of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam travelled there with Prof. Dr. Susanne Freund.

The conference took place at the NRW State Archives, Rhineland Department in Duisburg. The first day began with a guided tour of the state archives, which the President Dr. Frank M. Bischoff personally took over for the students. After the official opening of the conference with a welcome from Dr. Frank M. Bischoff, Dr. Steffen Leibold from the Ministry of Schools and Education and Dr. Annekatrin Schaller, head of the Archive Education Working Group, the opening lecture "Negotiating migration: A long-term observation of societies" by Prof. Dr. Jochen Oltmer (Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies Osnabrück) followed. In his engaging statement, Oltmer focussed on a general clarification of terms and offered an overview of the causes of migration movements.

The rest of the conference focussed on the actual target group of archive education: schoolchildren. Various school groups presented projects that they had developed in co-operation with archives. Their perspectives on archives and the handling of archive material were also discussed. Archives also presented several projects on migration history and integration in Germany that have already been realised. After an exchange between the representatives of the working group on the current state of archival education in their institutions, the poet Aylin Celik presented two impressive performances on migration experiences. Afterwards, the first day of the conference ended with a joint dinner, where there were plenty of opportunities for networking and lively conversations.

The second day of the conference began with a panel discussion moderated by Romain Schroeder from the Centre for Political Education Luxembourg, Dr. Wolfhart Beck from the NRW State Archive Dept. Münster, Mehmet Ermayasi from the Netzwerk Lehrkräfte mit Zuwanderungsgeschichte NRW, Aleksander Nedelkovski from the Institut für Zeitgeschichte und Stadtpräsentation der Stadt Wolfsburg, Schanya Fatah, a Year 11 pupil and Lamya Kaddor, member of the Bundestag for the Green Party, discussed archival education under the motto "My history, my home, my archive!". For example, the presentation of migration in state archives through their preservation strategy was emphasised. Resource and perception problems of archives with their target group were also addressed. This was followed by presentations with three case studies on the prevention of racism in the city of Duisburg, an archival education project from the Stuttgart City Archive on democracy education and a practical example from the Westphalian Economic Archive in Dortmund on migration in the Ruhr mining industry, in which several secondary schools regularly took part. The conference ended with a lively final discussion involving the audience.

In conclusion, it can be said that the 35th Archives Education Conference was partly focussed on a conceptual perspective, but also presented remarkable projects and encouraged exchange between the archives. As students, we were able to make contacts and gain an overview of archival pedagogy in the archival world. All in all, it was a win-win situation for all of us: students, teachers and practitioners were able to engage with the currently controversial social phenomenon of migration from an archival education perspective!

Students of the 4th and 6th semesters of the degree programme Archival Studies at the Department of Information Sciences


Prof. Dr. Susanne Freund
Professor of Archival Science
Project Manager Graduate Distance Learning Archive
Project Manager of the Degree Programme Archival Science (MA)
Project Manager of the Further Education Programme "Archive im Informationszeitalter"