In order to fulfil its task of protecting the cultural heritage of Upper Silesia, the OSLM has gathered a comprehensive museum collection over nearly 40 years. It contains artwork and items from daily life, technical artefacts, historical images and texts and personal documents. With these witnesses of the past, we tell living stories about Upper Silesia, its history and its people in our exhibitions.
In its exhibitions and archives, the OSLM is home to more than 10,000 objects, both large and small, valuable and simple, typical and unique. Alongside classic collections such as paintings, special focal points have developed which are typical for the cultural history of Upper Silesia.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Upper Silesia was profoundly shaped by coal extraction. Our collection, therefore, contains numerous objects from the daily life and work of the miners, as well as the mining culture in Upper Silesia. These include pit lamps, tools, miners’ clothing and uniforms, wagons, rails, historical photographs, documents and ordinary objects from daily life. Of particular interest are the coal carvings, typical of Upper Silesia, of which the OSLM owns over 250. These include crucifixes and portraits of saints, such as St Barbara as the patron saint of miners, representations of miners and their work underground, as well as a wide range of items from daily life, from ash trays to vases.
Our collection continues to grow
After purchases, gifts and bequests are the most important sources for our collection. Innumerable objects in our archives come from the personal property of individuals or families who have entrusted us with their private keepsakes of Upper Silesia. These include personal documents, letters, historical photographs and objects—each connected to a concrete life story. They make it possible for us to present a living picture of the past in our exhibitions and tell the stories of people made of flesh and blood.
If you would like to bequeath objects, documents or photographs to our collection, please contact us. Are you unsure whether your material is appropriate for our collection? You are welcome to contact our research assistants and open a dialogue with us.
Zeitzeuginnen und Zeitzeugen sind eine wertvolle Quelle für die Museumsarbeit. Mit ihrem Wissen und Erfahrungsberichten aus erster Hand verleihen sie der Geschichte ein Gesicht und eine Stimme. Teilen Sie Ihre Geschichte und melden Sie sich bei uns!
Kontakt: Anita Bartus