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Bread Museums in Europe 

The project is carried out under the auspices and with substantial support of ERICArts. It is recognized as a sub-project of the "European Food Project" which is given priority on ERICArts project-agenda. The project is carried out by the ERICArts researchers Marion Fischer  (D-Bonn) and Dimitrije Vujadinovic  (YU-Sremski Karlovci). 

The Handbook bases on key information collected among museums throughout Europe exhibiting a large scale of items related to bread and baking. The abundantly illustrated museum profiles (including colored photographs and essayistical approaches to bread) shall serve as a practical and expressive tool for any kind of interested public, especially also for the bakery trade and industry, helping them to find the values of former times bread traditions in order to link it to their present business and develop it for the future. Furthermore, this initiative will be of extreme value for the museums themselves, thus enabling future exchange activities, co-operation and networking. 

Project objective: 

The first reactions clearly show that there is still a big lack of information and knowledge of existing institutions within the field of bread museums, especially on the international scale. At the same time, there is to be stated a high interest in co-operation and exchange. This fact underlines the need of starting an initiative such as the publication project about bread museums in Europe. 

Another main objective of the project is the raise of awareness for bread issues and their various contexts within the society (as a modest contribution to more sensibilisation for the values of human heritage).  Therefore, the publication will be made available through museums, libraries, bookshops etc. and an effective promotion and information work is intended. 

First steps having already been executed by the editors: 

11/97 - 1/98: First contacts to museums, Collection of addresses, Preparation of Questionnaire (including consultation of museum specialists, review of existing museum handbooks, translation of addressing letters and questionnaire into German, French and Russian language); 

2/98 - 5/98; Mailing action (starting on 1 Feb., with further mailings based on new addresses upon assistance of the contacted museums); 

May 1998: collection and evaluation of returned questionnaires and enclosed material 

First results/echos by participating museums: 

The enclosed table lists up those 38 museums which have already been integrated to the project by mailing (information and invitation to participate by filling out the questionnaire, enclosing photographs, a short essay and documentation material). Up to now, 10 museums have returned their information, supporting and encouraging the project without exception, expecting for example: 

- an "excellent tool for promoting future exhibition exchange" (Muhlerama/CH-Zurich); 
- an "exhaustive directory of specialized museums", "opening of future co-operation activities"  (Maison du Ble  et du pain, F-Verdun sur le Doubs); 
- "more contacts between bread museums aiming exchange of exhibitions and experiences"; 
"increase of public recognition of that type of museums" (Deutsches Brotmuseum, D-Ulm); 
- "comprehension for the work of bread baking" (Alte Backstube - Bezirksmuseum Josefstadt); 
- "more structural contacts with interested people; more communications between food related museums on an international scale." (Het Warme Land - Nederlands Bakkerij Museum, NL-Hattem).  
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