The history of the holdings of the Herder Institute - Cultural techniques and their application as practices in searching and finding

Antje Coburger M.A.

Within the scope of the LOEWE sub-project B 4 "Practices in searching and finding", the task is the reappraisal of the history of the holdings of the Herder Institute since its foundation in 1950. In this, questions will be posed regarding the history of the records, their provenance and the motivation for collection. Various participants were involved in the formation of the collections. Their involvement in setting up knowledge orders, in the sense of knowledge of existing holdings, is one of the questions being examined. The holdings have been able to grow in very different ways during various phases of development of the Institute. Some were acquired specifically, others are the product of exchange negotiations, and yet others arrived by chance through bequests to the Herder Institute. The collection of specialist literature was facilitated very early on through the building of a library. Images and archives were included later on as collection groups internal to the Institute. As the subject is to be addressed whilst considering the "Practices of searching and finding", the findability strategies used so far must be analysed at the start. Later an enquiry can be made into innovative opportunities for interaction between the users and providers with the aim of expanded findability.

The practice of the application of cultural techniques is to be addressed in archival, economic and socio-political contexts. The searching for, and provision of data is subject to selective practices by the searcher (user) and provider (find facilitator). For this reason, an enquiry must be made into comprehensible yet calculable findability, for example. The collections of the Herder Institute are considered to be an archive in which providers make their various holdings findable in different ways, and users have various routes for finding data. The work on this project will lead to a dissertation.