On 18 March 2019, project team representatives from the Federal Archives, the State Archives of Baden-Württemberg and FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure presented the project structure and initial results after a project period of about nine months in a one-day workshop at the Federal Archives in Koblenz.
Thanks to workshop participants from the archival sector in Germany and abroad, the digital humanities and historians, a broad scientific exchange took place. The morning session began with four statements by renowned experts: Prof. Frank Engehausen (History Seminar, University of Heidelberg), Dr. Andreas Braune (Weimar Republic Research Centre, University of Jena), Prof. Patrick Sahle (Cologne Center for eHumanities, University of Cologne) and Dr. Bettina Joergens (Landesarchiv NRW). In the afternoon, two working groups dealt with various individual aspects of the project.
The statements and working groups focused on the content of the statements and working groups:
For the first results, a thematic classification was developed, divided into upper and lower categories and keywords (subject index). The classification of the super- and subcategories as well as the differentiation between subcategories and keywords was discussed. In addition to the historical content of the individual categories and keywords, the question of the specific assignment of archival records to individual categories was also addressed.
A fundamental challenge is the general scope of the process due to the high volume of data sets. Therefore, the project includes the development of various technical tools and their training and evaluation using test data. In the future, the tools should both simplify and accelerate the systematization process and be usable for archive institutions themselves via the Archivportal-D
The instruments planned for this process, especially the "linking tool", were presented during the workshop.
In addition to the current research and filter tools of the Archivportal-D, the thematic access presented at the workshop in first drafts contains a "theme tree" in the form of thematic categories and keywords. With its help, the user can "browse" through the portal's various thematic areas as well as filter and select the content of his or her search for archival material. In addition, it is possible to search and filter according to geographical aspects.
These intended explorative and intuitive extensions not only support contemporary access to the subject information portal Archivportal-D and the introduction to historical epochs, but can also be of use to experts in scientific research.
The possibilities and challenges of visual clarity as well as the unambiguousness of the filter options on the user interface were discussed within the framework of the working group.
The DFG project, with the project partners Federal Archive, German National Library (project coordination DDB), FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure and the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, is a pilot project for further possible future thematic accesses in the Archivportal-D.
Further public workshops are planned within the project. The project team thanks all participants and speakers for their intensive participation and looks forward to seeing you again at the next workshop.
You can find the report on the workshop on the website of the Federal Archives here:
More information about the workshop can be found here:
Further information on the project can be found at: