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Research Centre for Overseas Germans Studies (Hamburg)

The Research Centre for Overseas Germans Studies was established at the end of 1934 by the Hamburg Regional Association of the Volksbund für das Deutschtum im Ausland (Association for Germanness Abroad). Closely linked to the University of Hamburg from the beginning, the Research Centre was affiliated to the university in 1937.

The Research Centre was tasked with building up a newspaper archive and a reference library, supervising research and examination work, organising study groups and lectures, and providing information and consultation about Germanness overseas.

When the Hamburg “Colonial Institute” was re-established in 1938, the Research Centre was affiliated to it. Presumably during this time materials from the HWWA collections about “Germanness abroad” were transferred to the Research Centre. This material was enriched by the Research Centre’s own collections and later returned to the HWWA.

In 1943, the University’s History Department was destroyed and rehoused together with the Research Centre, whose library passed fully into the university’s ownership. In 1945, the Research Centre was disbanded.

To preserve the context of the collection, both the Research Centre’s own holdings and those originating in the HWWA are digitised under the provenance of the Research Centre in this project.

For the first time since the end of the 1930s, holdings are accessible again to the public which originated in the HWWA and had not been returned yet when roll filming started.

Johanna Becker