Here you can read texts for three hours on end if you like, says the museum director, Roger Münch. But the German Newspaper Museum offers more than simply texts to read, but plenty of hands-on activities and things to look at.
The Premonstratensian abbey at Wadgassen used to contain a large number of outbuildings grouped around an inner courtyard. Only one of these buildings has survived over the centuries. Nowadays a through road separates it from the "cristallerie". In the 1990s the building was restored. Originally it was planned to turn it into flats, but in 2004 it became the home of the German Newspaper Museum. The core of the museum is made up of a collection belonging to an academic specialist in newspapers by the name of Martin Welke. The "Saarbrücker Zeitung" bought up documents and printing machines and donated them to the "Saarland Cultural Foundation" who are responsible for the museum.
The 18 rooms in the museum cover a total of 500 square metres and contain around 150 exhibits that tell visitors about the history of newspapers from the beginnings right up to the "Spiegel" affair in 1962; and from the technical history of printing from the printing press to the mass production line. A section entitled "Our Newspaper Today: Take a Hand and Learn A Lot" invites visitors to take part in a sort of basketball game where they have throw balls to solve problems about how a newspaper is made. The museum regards itself as non-school place of learning that combines both information and entertainment. So-called "shop windows" present other exhibits from the collection at regular intervals. Visitors who want to go deeper into the history of newspapers can also pull out "newspaper drawers" full of information. In the "Museum of Hearts" there is a wall of shelves containing both curious and everyday objects from the world of newspapers. A special exhibitions of critical drawings, comics, cultural and social aspects of the mass medium, and of book art round off the museum programme.