CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Kupferstichkabinett online / Printroom online: developments, results, perspectives

Research Conference: 14 March - 16 March 2011

By Spring 2011 the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum in Braunschweig and the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenb├╝ttel will have published about 40.000 entries for prints in their collections in a joint online print database ‘Virtuelles Kupferstichkabinett’ (“Virtual Printroom”) ( The project started in 2007 and is being sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for a period of four years. The Bildarchiv Foto Marburg collaborates in the project for the iconographic indexation of image content.

A growing number of institutions record, describe and digitise their collections of graphic works in online-databases or are planning to. The optimisation of the accessibility of prints and drawings is an essential precondition for scholarly research. Furthermore this development is of importance for the perception of art on paper by a general interested audience, and databases also provide qualified resources for e-learning, which is steadily gaining importance. The Internet may act as an intermediary for graphic collections in printrooms, libraries, archives, universities and other collections. A web-based collective print index cumulating the data pools of many print collections is a logical consequence of the advancement of systematic indexing. Such a tool gives the possibility to reconstruct lost contexts between prints and books or manuscripts, for example. Digital indexing provides further possibilities for the virtual reconstruction of historically related collections.

In the digital era the relevance of the graphic image, and therefore also of print collections, depends significantly on a quantitatively and qualitatively convincing presentation and presence on the Internet. From this point of view the further development and networking of virtual printrooms is of great importance.

Aspects of the conference theme for possible papers:

o Possibilities of and limits to ‘graphic portals’: a new paradigm for printrooms?
o Graphic portals between research, education and institutional profiling
o Documentation of collections of graphic works: standards in metadata harvesting
o Standardisation and individualisation in database construction
o Subsequent use of metadata: interfaces for data transfer
o Cooperative indexing as model?
o Perspectives of networking: towards a virtual print catalogue
o The question of access: open access vs. copyright?
o Conservation aspects of digitising and describing art on paper
o Collections of graphic works in museums, libraries, archives and other institutions: recording, access, keeping and presentation
o Permanence and fluidity of digital imagery: the representation of the printed picture as digital image.

Concept and organisation: Dr. Thomas D├Âring, Dr. Christian Heitzmann, Claudia Kleine-Tebbe, Christiane Pagel and Ad Stijnman.

Preliminary program of the conference: here

Registration form: here