Historiography – Ideology – Collection. Research-based Digitizing of Historical Theater Material from the "Zentralinstitut für Theaterwissenschaft" in Vienna 1943–45

Project leader: PD, Mag. Dr. Birgit Peter
Project team:
Louise Hartmann, BA, Mag. Dr. Klaus Illmayer, Janina Piech, BA MA, Mag. Sara Tiefenbacher
Cooperation partners:
Mag. Dr. Martina Cuba, MSc (tfm library), Mag. Claudia Feigl, MAS (Sammlungsbeauftragte der Universität Wien, DLE Bibliotheks- und Archivwesen)
Funding body:


About the project:

This project will research collections of the Archive of the "Zentralinstitut für Theaterwissenschaft" founded 1943 as ideologically motivated scholarly studies. The goal is to conduct an historical analysis of the generated sources, following a scholarly investigation of the collection inventory. The project will develop the best practice for digitizing the research of a collection's history with the premise, that analyzing the history of a specific collection defines its structure and the purchase of individual objects in it. This is of great significance for collections that were made during National Socialism, where provenance issues are especially pertinent.
This research work will apply to three representative inventories of the Archive, that were verifiably purchased or established in 1943: the Nazi Picture Archive, the Houben Censorship Archive and the Leuschke Theater Archive. These self-contained collections enable the work to be done in a realistic period of time and the heterogeneity of the material allows a broad-scoped investigation with archival and scholarly historical questions, as well as the necessary digitizing.
The collections comprise photographs, manuscripts and newspaper clippings, which ensures a representative selection of materials. The in-depth investigation of a collection formed during the Nazi era will contribute to the clarification of complex provenance issues regarding questionable inventories, and will thus form the basis for restitution proceedings. The research will be published in the form of papers, a digital exhibit and the metadata in the Phaidra repository. Examining the ideology of the collection and the collecting process will form the basis for the long overdue research of the historical provenance of materials that were most likely stolen, such as some of those integrated in the Archive in this case.

For more information please contact: hic.tfm@univie.ac.at