Published June 11, 2024 | Version v2
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The hidden capital: Trust in museums in Germany. The German public's view of a cultural institution in transition, a population representative study by the Institute for Museum Research – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin

  • 1. Institut für Museumsforschung, SMB-PK


"The hidden capital: Trust in museums in Germany" is the first study of its kind, based on a population representative survey, to provide empirical data on the trust potential of the approximately 7,000 museums in Germany. It was largely inspired by a study on trust in museums published in 2021 on behalf of the American Alliance of Museums.


Numerous studies on the trust of the German population in democratic institutions, the media and science are currently dominating the headlines, reminding us in these times of crisis how important social and institutional trust is for the preservation and continued existence of our democracy. It is therefore all the more surprising that trust in museums, the oldest and most enduring cultural institutions in our society, has never been the subject of a large-scale empirical study.


Museums have the potential to strengthen society's sense of belonging and to foster trust in cultural institutions as a whole. Trust in museums has a very positive impact on the credibility of museums as educational and cultural institutions. This in turn promotes visitor loyalty, cultural exchange and participation in cultural education programmes. The aim of this study is to use empirical findings to shed light on this often hidden capital outside the museum landscape and its actors in the current debate on social cohesion, and to empirically substantiate the socio-political dimension of museum work.


The hidden capital_Trust in museums in Germany.pdf

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