Digitisation and documentation of the Lower Silesian image archive (NBA)

Wohnwitz Castle, Collection NBA, Inv.-Nr. 77647

Leadership: Dr. Dietmar Popp
Editors: Dr. Elke Bauer, Kamila Bojarska, Sławomir Brzezicki M.A., Christina Gorol M.A., Oliver-Frank Hornig, Claudia Junghänel, Dominika Piotrowska M.A., Thomas Urban M.A.
In collaboration with the Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (Instytut Sztuki PAN), Jan Przypkowski M.A.

This German-Polish collaborative project funded for three years (2007 -2009) by the Leibniz Association from funds from the Pact for Innovation and Research for the acquisition and virtual consolidation of image materials from the former Prussian Provincial Conservator of Lower Silesia is aimed at a more comprehensive "online information system of art monuments in Poland". The object of the pilot project is the so-called Lower Silesian Image Archive (NBA), the collection of photographs and plans on Silesian art and architecture which had been built up since 1891 from old and contemporary image materials within the scope of the work on Silesian monument conservation, and which had been scattered at the end of and following World War II. Today, the 30,000 items (as a rough estimate) are distributed across several facilities in Germany and Poland (the Herder Institute, Marburg, Instytut Sztuki PAN Warszawa, Archiwum Panstwowe we Wrocławiu and others).

The aims are initially joint bilingual documentation and digitisation, virtual consolidation and their global provision in an online image database. Following on from this will be the production of a comprehensive and broadly applicable infrastructure for collaborative international art-monument documentation, a portal jointly overseen by Germans and Poles. Furthermore, there are plans for a link to the work on the  "Dehio Handbook of Art Monuments in Poland", which will be created on the basis of a central object database, so that a specialist information system can be produced from the image database, as well as an illustrated, researchable "virtual Dehio" from the printed Dehio Handbooks.

The project covers several stages and work stages running in parallel:

  • The scanning of negatives, photos and plan materials and digital image processing in the HI and IS PAN;
  • Basic recording of image materials, both in the HI and IS PAN;
  • Coordinating and supplementing the scans and documentation created at the various locations;
  • Preparing the object database from the Dehio handbook project and preparing the object master datasets (architectural and art works) as well as the location master datasets (geodata)
  • Further-reaching academic documentation on the image material and objects
  • New storage of plan materials and negatives
  • Research on the historical context of the collection of the Provincial Conservator (collaboration with G. Grajewski, ROBiDZ Wrocław)
  • Merging the databases from the parts processed in Poland and Germany (in parallel to processing) and the creation of the online information system on the HI server.