Archives are open to everyone and serve as a cultural memory for our civilization. However, contrary to the still commonly held belief, they are not places where the dust collects from past centuries, but rather preserve and make testimonies from the past accessible, which have interesting stories to tell. Some of these stories have been compiled in this book some funny, some tragic, others odd or educational.
Sixteen archives and collections from institutions and museums of the Leibniz Association were searched through and found among their holdings quite a few treasures here and there, which are being presented in a vivid and imaginative way. The result is a colorful kaleidoscope of collection items which exemplify different “lifeworlds.” Why in the world would anybody dress up fleas? How did a walking stick make it into an archive? What was industrial espionage like in the year 1791? What can we learn from a seaman's record book of a steward who worked on the Titanic? How is intelligence being measured? How did the German kindergarten make it to the British Isles? How did a Jewish school in Berlin during the Nazi era prepare its students for their emigration to Palestine? This book reveals to the reader the answers to these and many more questions.