The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin), housed in historical buildings, constitute a Universal Museum for the preservation, research and mediation of treasures of art and culture of the entire history of humanity. Their collections embrace the areas of European and extra- European art, archaeology and ethnology.
The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin falls under the auspices of the umbrella organization of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (or 'Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation'), which also presides over the Staatsbibliothek (Berlin's state library), the Geheimes Staatsarchiv (archives of the former state of Prussia), the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, and the Staatliche Institut für Musikforschung and its museum of musical instruments. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation was established in 1957 to preserve and expand on the cultural legacy of the former state of Prussia.
Individual research areas include archaeology, European and non-European ethnology and art history, as well as cross-collection disciplines such as archaeometry, conservation science, provenance research, and interdisciplinary subjects such as visual studies, media studies, and visual anthropology. At any one time, staff at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin are busy working on an array of research projects, either within their own collection, across the SMB's collections, or with external museums, both within Germany and around the globe.
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