Dr. Ulrich Borsdorf studied History and German Literature in Bochum and Freiburg. He was a junior professor in History at Essen University from 1973 to 1978. He worked as historian at an Institute for Social Research from 1978 to 1986.

As a director of the Ruhrlandmuseum in Essen from 1986 to 2007, since then as a Director of the new Ruhr Museum at the former pit Zollverein (World Heritage site since 2002). He produced numerous exhibitions in the museum and in industrial heritage sites for the IBA Emscher Park from 1994 to 2000 and various publications on the subjects of social movements in the 19. and 20. century, the history of Germany after World War II, the history of the Ruhr area, history and theory of museums and photography.

He was a  lecturer at the universities Bochum and Essen from 1973 to 2009. Borsdorf retired in December 2011, now working as an advisor of various museums and cities in Germany and abroad.