Digitization and Visualization of Archives and Collections

Ernst-von-Glasersfeld visualization

Duration: 01/10/2018-30/11/2020
Funded by: Land Tirol Leuchtturmprojekt
Total funding: 200,000 EUR

For cultural and memory institutions (GLAM), new opportunities, scopes for design and challenges have arisen in the course of digitization. On the one hand, numerous online platforms and software products offer solutions for various subtasks of archiving and imparting, which can be used with appropriate resources. On the other hand, criteria such as flexible design, increased coverage, interoperability, improved clarity, sustainability, usability or didactic added value are far from easy to solve given the complexity of technical, legal and design problems. In recent years, not least of all, generic interfaces, digital visualization strategies and possibilities for the visual exploration of archives have been developed. The present digitization project builds on these developments and bundles them with regard to a modular set of open source software for the visual presentation and analysis of archive material. In addition, epistemological and methodological aspects of visualization, which have so far been neglected, are also being considered. On the basis of networked visualization structures, the modular software architecture to be developed enables the design of generic interfaces for the interactive presentation and analysis of archivals as well as discursive and paradigmatic structures in mediographic archive portals. 

The foundations of this modular, expandable structure, which can be integrated into existing online portals, offer new opportunities for conveying culture and knowledge, especially in teaching and research. They also facilitate innovative forms of science communication and the development of new research questions that would not be workable without appropriate tools for digital archives. For one thing, the development and application of the concepts, methods and tools takes place prototypically on the example of the radical constructivism and the Ernst von Glasersfeld Archive. Then again, the modular, computer-aided, visual tool set can be used in public institutions (GLAM) in general. Overall, the project aims to provide the conceptual, methodological and technical foundations for a sustainable, future-oriented development and application of visualization tools for archives and collections with a view to variable uses for research, academic education and the general public.

The resulting web-portal can be found at https://dbis-digivis.uibk.ac.at/portal/portal_evg.html.