Deutsch Intern
Center for the History of Psychology

The activities of our restorers


Who is actually working in an archive that preserves the history and stories of psychology? Very important: the restorers Esther Gildemann and Franziska Fierdag. They take care of the archival material in terms of restoration and conversation, so that the documents, books, old films, apparatus and instruments are not eaten up by time and years.

Anyone who thinks that in an archive you only have to deal with old and yellowed books is very much mistaken. The working day of Esther Gildemann and Franziska Fierdag is determined by the most diverse materials with which they have to be familiar: There are, for example, technical cultural assets such as the psychological apparatus and instruments, material combinations of metal, wood, rubber and much more, also books and paper from the archive stock, paper-thin, cardboard-thick, from GDR times or almost 200 years old, or even old films or audio tapes.  Of course, digitization doesn't stop at the two restorers: they have to digitize magnetic tapes or make lifelike recordings of equipment with a 3D system. So there are many different disciplines that require an exchange of ideas and creative collaboration.
Most recently, the two ventured into the estate of the famous psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, who stored his documents in dozens of standing file folders (imagine an old-fashioned Leitz folder). Esther Gildemann and Franziska Fierdag restored these standing files to their former glory. How? You can find the answer here:


Restoration Report Standing Collector Hermann Ebbinghaus