35+5 – The GHI in Washington and Berkeley Celebrates

September 7, 2022

In the fall of 1987, the German Historical Institute opened its doors in Washington. 30 years later, in the Fall of 2017, the GHI’s Pacific Office started at the University of Berkeley.

“We have a lot to celebrate this year,” director Simone Lässig explains. “Over decades, our institute has developed into a hub for research in and about the transatlantic world, Europe and the Americas. It opened up to global history and most recently to the transpacific region. At the same time, it has witnessed and reflected milestones of global history.”

The GHI Washington, including its Pacific Office, now has 35 research fellows and employees, awards prizes for outstanding research, and publishes several book series as well as its own journal – the Bulletin of the German Historical Institute. All of these publications are published in open access or will become open access in the near future. Simone Lässig: “Since 2011 we have enabled over 500 researchers to visit the GHI and other institutions and archives in the US or Canada. Many of them have continued their career successfully, and thus underline the value of our programs, which have focused on research topics such migration and mobility, Jewish history or transregional studies. It is an honor for us to make this kind of scholarly exchange possible and to benefit from it – an international exchange that is still necessary, nowadays probably more than ever before.”

Over the last few years, the GHI Washington has developed into a major transatlantic hub for Digital History through an annual international conference and transnational digital projects  that address research, teaching, and citizen scholars. “Projects such as ‘German History Intersections’ or ‘Migrant Connections’ are of considerable value for many people, just as “German History in Documents and Images” has been since 2003. And they show the importance of institutional continuity in transnational research organizations: many topics and even contacts that we are focused on today date back to the beginning of our GHI – 35 years ago in Washington, and five years ago in Berkeley,” Lässig underlines. “We are thankful for all the support the GHI has had in these 35+5 years – from our friends and partners, our employees and fellows, our academic advisory board, the Max Weber Foundation, its funders and from all the other associates.”