ILKAR – Integrated solutions for the preservation, archiving and conservation of endangered magnetic tapes and cylinders

Funded through the KUR – Programme for the Conservation of Moveable Cultural Assets

The music archive at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin owns a unique collection of traditional music from regions all around the world. The collection contains more than 30,000 wax cylinder records and almost 10,000 original field recordings on a variety of analogue and digital recording media (magnetic audio tapes, DAT, VHS, etc.). The museum’s wax cylinder record collection was added to the UNESCO “Memory of the World” list in 1999 for the outstanding importance of its historical audio material.
To safeguard this and other comparable collections for the long term, the KUR project developed innovative methods to identify, slow down and even prevent material-related aging processes in such media. The new findings on the conservation and preservation of cylinders and tape recordings were optimized in scientific archives for later application in order to enhance the efficiency of conventional preservation measures.
In addition to workshops and publications, the Ethnological Museum also held an exhibition to present the conservation process to the public.

Project administrator:
Ethnological Museum, Berlin State Museums, Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Cooperative partners:
Rathgen Research Laboratory, Berlin State Museums, Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Technische Universität, Munich
Phonogram Archive at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna
Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections CRCC, Paris
Rochester Institute of Technology, New York

Museum Global?

The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the MMK Frankfurt wish to address the effects of globalisation and digitalisation in a project that explores the complex subject of “globalism” and the challenges it brings. With their project “museum global?” they scrutinise modernity and the canon upon which it is based.

Learn more about the project (external link, opens in a new window)


Prof. Dr. Lars-Christian Koch

Leiter der Abteilung Musikethnologie,

Medien-Technik und Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv

Ethnologisches Museum

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Arnimallee 23-27

14195 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0)30 8301241 (external link, opens in a new window)


Dr. Stefan Simon



Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Schloßstraße 1a

14059 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0)30 32674911 (external link, opens in a new window)