Joachim Breuninger

Director – Transport Museum Dresden

Session#5, Tuesday, 27 September, 15:30
Why we do not run our collection!

The Dresden Transport Museum is one of the leading transport museums in Germany with artefacts from all over the German transport history. We feature aviation, navigation, railways and road traffic objects that all are related with the history of transport.

The Dresden transport museum runs only two cars. A Barkas 1.000, a minivan from socialist Germany and a Hillman Minx from 1960 that was imported to the GDR in that time.

For all other objects we decided to not run for several reasons:

  • Running an object endangers and ultimately destroys the whole or at least important parts of it ( we have several examples for that in the past)
  • Museums are to conserve historical object, not to run it (ICOM Definition of museums) . There are many other institutions that exist because they run objects like railway enthusiast clubs, classic car owners, private owners of historic ships and planes. They all operate because it is their raison d’etre. We think there is a division of labor between those two actors in the field of transport history.
  • Running an object is expensive (especially railways) and needs special skills
  • If we nevertheless decide to run an object, it must not be a single piece. In the event of complete destruction, it has to be possible to be replaced by an identical one.

The presentation will contain

  1. Short presentation of the Dresden transport museum
  2. Several examples of the past where historic object were severely damaged while running it
  3. Examples of events where we present working historical objects in the context of our museum without working the won collection
  4. The two working exhibits, why we work them and to which occasions.

Back to the conference prorgamme.