The rem’s deep roots in the populace and the region are manifested in two associations of supporters with over 3,000 members:
Mannheim Historical Society of 1859
The Mannheim Historical Society of 1859 – Society of the Friends of Mannheim and the Former Electoral Palatinate promotes scholarly research of the archeology and regional history of Mannheim and the Electoral Palatinate. Lectures, publications, and group field trips make the latest findings accessible to the general public. Since it was established, the society has distinguished itself through its extensive collecting activities, which have rapidly expanded the museum’s holdings. On the basis of an agreement with the city of Mannheim, the society’s entire holdings entered the city’s possession in 1921. The right of ownership remained with the Historical Society. The Historical Society’s museum holdings, i.e. 40 percent of the present day holdings of the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, received a new home when the Reiss Museum opened in the Zeughaus in 1957. The Historical Society issues two volumes of the journal “Mannheimer Geschichtsblätter – rem-Magazin” jointly with the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen every year. The Mannheimer historischen Schriften published by the Mannheim Historical Society are devoted to specific topics of city and regional history.
Society of Friends of the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen
The Society of Friends consists of friends and patrons who actively work for the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen and support its work both with money and extensive volunteerism. A monetary gift of over half a million euros from the Society of Friends and its foundation made it possible to open the Schillerhaus Museum in 2005. The dedication of the volunteer workers in the museum shop is another important contribution. The work of the Society of Friends is also evident in the Zeughaus Museum: The reorganization of the collections was largely funded by the Society of Friends’ campaign “Zaster fürs Zeughaus” (Loot for the Zeughaus), which raised € 2.5 million. At the same time, this civic initiative provided the city of Mannheim an important impetus to resolve to renovate the historical Zeughaus completely from 2004 to 2007.
The number of members in the Society of Friends is steadily rising and opportunities to get involved at the rem are varied and diverse. Members enjoy exclusive events as well as invitations to advance viewings of all the special exhibitions at the rem and “KULTOUR Trips for Members” with programs geared toward the activities of the rem.
The remClub, an initiative of the Society of Friends, offers young people interested in arts and culture a diverse program at regular intervals. Young museum visitors actively experience the rem’s offerings with their peers at themed tours, workshops, fascinating lectures, and laid back parties.