The historical collections of the Justus Perthes publishing house were re-privatised in 1992 and transferred back to their legal heir, Stephan Justus Perthes. While the Library and the Map Collection remained the property of Stephan Justus Perthes, he sold the publishing company also in 1992, along with the Perthes Archive of the Publishing House, to the school textbook publisher Ernst Klett Schulbuchverlag, today known as Ernst Klett Verlag GmbH.
Since that time, the Collection’s proprietors have made concerted efforts to maintain the collections, present them to the public and make them available for research. The body that assumed responsibility for all initiatives was the “Förderverein Perthes-Stiftung Museum der Erde Gotha e.V.”(“Promotional Association Perthes Foundation Museum of the Earth ), established in April 1996 and led by Dr. Michael Klett (Stuttgart), Prof. Hans-Albrecht Koch (Langwedel) and Stephan Justus Perthes (Darmstadt).
The establishment of a “Perthes Foundation” run as a private-public partnership was planned; this was to be the body responsible for a museum with an affiliated research facility. After this idea proved unfeasible, the Free State of Thuringia, supported by the Kulturstiftung der Länder (KSL) (Federal Cultural Foundation), acquired both the Map Collection and the Library from Stephan Justus Perthes, and the Justus Perthes Archive of the Publishing House from the Klett Foundation. All three sections of the Collection were integrated into the Gotha Research Library, part of the University of Erfurt, under the name of the “Gotha Perthes Collection”.
We owe our thanks to all of our sponsors, supporters and comrades-in-arms who have contributed to the preservation of the Perthes Collection and to safeguarding it for the Free State of Thuringia.
Preservation, indexing and presentation activities relating to the Perthes Collection are supported by: