Land Book of the Mark of Brandenburg for 1375, Copy, after 1420. Royal seal of Emperor Charles IV, 14th April 1364, State Archive
Functions and Perspectives
The Foundation's wealth requires it to be conscientious in the preservation and safekeeping of its collections. However, such wealth also creates a duty to share. Museums and libraries must devote their energies both to meeting the expectations of the public and to communicating a particular cultural mentality. Curiosity and expectation are the best preconditions for the mediation of art. The level of research is decisive for the level of mediation.
Culture requires a living reception. It can make us stop and reflect, transport us, or astound us. This is achieved when unique objects are displayed with feeling and imagination.
In Berlin, culture is helping to shape the image of the Republic. Culture must be the strating point for anyone concerned with Berlin's future. Only thus can we exploit the opportunity for a dialogue of cultures. The nature of Germany's future cultural role will depend on how competently the country can deal intellectually and institutionally with its cultural heritage. Pragmatism and vision are required if Germany is to play an appropriate role in a Europe which can hardly be conceived otherwise than as a symbiosis of national cultures. It is clear that a purely economic view which reduces human beings to mere elements within a market system will not be sufficient to create a permanent shape for Europe.
In order to for contemporary museums, libraries and archives to be successful, they must orientate themselves more clearly than ever before towards a definition of cultural institutions as service industries. Their core functions - collection, classification and communication - must be linked to marketing, economic competence and a technological infrastructure.
This is not just a question of enlarging and marketing cultural institutions in purely business terms. This would be the wrong road to take. Culture must not be treated as an exchangeable commodity, ranked according to usefulness or prestige. It is not just another part of a worldwide competitive society, conditioned by economic factors. Culture has its own intrinsic value and must retain it at all costs.
Computers and the Internet are becoming increasingly important in the mediation of cultural artefacts. They strengthen the individuality of museums by emphasising the uniqueness of originals.
Libraries and archives meanwhile become places of intellectual stimulation but also individual links in a global network. New services and increased resources help to communicate the world's knowledge more effectively and comprehensively.