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Schafer, Hermann. “Visitor Studies in the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Museum for Contemporary History in Germany).” Visitor Behavior 11(1) (1996): 11-12.


The Haus der Geschichte has availed itself of the series of independent evaluation consultants from Germany and the United States for a variety of projects and with diverse goals. These have included identifying future visitors and their needs and thus creating an exhibition that is visitor oriented and geared to the ‘everyday’ visitor; examining exhibition design and testing different alternatives. With the help of these evaluation methods, the museum, which has grown from an initial staff of some dozen people in 1987 to about 100 people today, found its own exhibition ‘style;’ further, especially important given the political controversy and heated debates surrounding the museum, we were able to win public support for this project, its approach, and for its goals. As early as 1989 the first evaluations of label copy, presentation of objects and use of media in various exhibitions throughout Germany were conducted. Further, prior to opening, the socio-demographic composition of the anticipated visitors to the Haus der Geschichte and their expectations were evaluated.

Informal Science