Ruhr Museum

Memory

The Ruhr area only emerged as a specific region at the start of industrialisation. Before that it had a number of different geographical and political affiliations that left a variety of regional and local traditions. In contrast with the collective memory in today’s Ruhr area, they represent a regional cultural memory which goes back much further in time. Nonetheless they are an important part of its identity.

This cultural memory has a geographical arrangement. It is linked to specific locations, persons and events. Its presentation has less to do with the creation of lines of connection and historical explanations. The reconstruction of certain traditions is more like an archaeological than a historical process.

The storehouses of the old coal washing plant have been transformed into storehouses of collective memory. These also include the museum’s collections of objects from distant »utopian« places which make a stark contrast with the age of industrialisation.