Two new tours for the German Mining Museum in Bochum

Neue Rundgänge

The new permanent exhibition of the Leibniz Research Museum for Georesources

The renovation of the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum also includes the redesign of the permanent exhibition. The first two tours in the north wing are already complete at the end of 2018, the year of withdrawal from the German coal industry. They share the history of German coal and the global relationships between humans and mining across eras and industries and will open to visitors in January. From the summer of 2019, visitors will have access to four different tours. The key themes will then showcase the entire range of the Leibniz Research Museum for Georesources.

Pieces from the collections of the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum, pieces on loan and new exhibits will, in some cases, be presented in an entirely new light, while the streamlining of the number of exhibits will give new life to certain exceptional pieces from previous permanent collections in a different context. Every tour is focussed on a certain topic and also has its very own design concept.

Bringing information to life

In the new permanent exhibition, the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum has set itself the challenge of keeping the presentation of the contents and results of its own research as exciting and informative as possible and to appeal to the various target groups with a range of different offers. Whether as an interactive game, multimedia learning station or a hands-on exhibit – the aim is to make sure that the contents of the permanent collection stays with you long after your visit. In addition, a children’s trail leads through the tours, with separate exhibits that appeal to our youngest visitors.

Tour 1 – from the Carboniferous forest to the mine water pump

Visitors are welcomed by a unique rootstock from the Carboniferous Period (approx. 306 million years ago) and a room-size oil painting of a landscape from the coal age (1923). This marks the start of the tour that will tell the history of German coal mining. The rootstock, which was found in Lower Saxony, was relocated within the museum as part of the renovation activities and extensively restored. By contrast, the painting by Willy Kukuk will be on display in the museum for the very first time. Previously, there were no options available to hang up the piece with dimensions of 3.30 x 6.20 m. During the tour, around 600 pieces tell the story of technical developments, social advances and social and cultural interconnections relating to coal in Germany: of partial through to full mechanisation, of mine rescue work and occupational safety, of the emergence of unions and associations, of the socially responsible withdrawal from coal mining and the challenges of the post-mining age.

Tour 2 – from the Stone Age to extra-terrestrial mining

Humans have always needed resources. Their extraction, processing and use, and their development, have changed humanity over time. The Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum is tasked with researching these topics and has been a Research Museum since it was added to the “Blue List” in 1977. The second tour provides a multi-faceted view of this topic: Scientists from the areas of archaeometallurgy, mining history, materials science and mining archaeology shine a light on the history of mining from the Stone Age through to Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Early Modern Times, Industrialisation and the present – and finish off by taking a daring look into the future of mining on other planets. This tour displays over 1,150 pieces, which show that the relationships between humans and mining also reflects the interplay between technical development and expertise as well as knowledge acquisition and power.

The two additional tours, covering the topics of natural resources as well as art and culture in mining will open in the summer of 2019, after the completion of the work in the south wing, and complete the new permanent collection concept. Information on tours 3 and 4 will also be published on this website.

The renovation of the north wing and tours 1 and 2 of the Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum were supported by the RAG-Stiftung as part of the „Glückauf Zukunft!“ initiative with funding of 15 million euros. Last revised: 28 November 2018