University of Mannheim: President of the Federal Archives receives honorary professorship from the University of Mannheim

The University of Mannheim has a new honorary professor: Dr. Michael Hollmann, President of the Federal Archives, was awarded the title of honorary professor last Tuesday at the suggestion of the Philosophical Faculty. He was honored for his outstanding achievements as a scientist, lecturer and archivist.

For the Philosophical Faculty and the Historical Institute of the University of Mannheim, where Hollmann teaches students skills in digital and analog applications of archival methods, his appointment as honorary professor means a deepening of the good relationship with the Federal Archives as a central actor for national memory. The Federal Archives are the largest and most important archives in Germany; it functions as a central analog and digital repository for state and national records. For example, the Federal Archives recently took over the files of the former Stasi records authority and thus underscored its social importance for the culture of remembrance when dealing with SED injustice.

Prof. Dr. Hollmann is not only President of the Federal Archives and thus Germany’s leading archivist, he is also a renowned historian and medievalist. His dissertation on “The Mainz Cathedral Chapter in the Late Middle Ages” set new standards. As editor of the files of the Parliamentary Council and the cabinet minutes of the Federal Government in the Adenauer era, he did important basic research on the history of West German democracy. At the same time, he presented fundamental research and publications on archival science and the challenges of digital archiving.

In teaching, too, Prof. Dr. Hollmann outstanding achievements: For several years he has been teaching students of the Philosophical Faculty important skills in the application of archival and digital methods. His courses, which he conducted directly on materials in the Federal Archives until the beginning of the pandemic, are extremely popular with students, especially since the President, as Germany’s top archivist, personally climbs into the magazines with the students.

“The appointment of Mr. Hollmann as honorary professor is a real stroke of luck for us,” says Prof. Dr. Philipp Gassert, Dean of the Philosophical Faculty. “Mr. Hollmann is not only an excellent archivist and scientist, as a lecturer he also enormously enriches contemporary history teaching at the University of Mannheim. His appointment also fits in very well with our activities in the field of ‘curating and mediating’, which the faculty intends to expand further and to focus on in the planned Julius Mammelsdorf Institute for practical cultural work. “

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