Digitisation of cultural and scientific heritage in Vorarlberg 2004
(Status: June 2004)
There are three types of museums in Vorarlberg: state museums, regional museums and thematic museums. The state museums are the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum, the inatura Dornbirn and the Kunsthaus Bregenz. Furthermore, there are 14 regional museums and 30 thematic museums.
Digitisation of cultural heritage in Vorarlberg is—at least to some extent—connected with the problem of which museum software to apply. Currently, a working group is evaluating different software solutions (mbox or MS Storage). For smaller museums, the high investment costs are a major barrier to digitisation. A possible solution may be to acquire smaller software versions. A further problem for many smaller local and regional museums is a shortage of trained personnel.
1.1) Kunsthaus Bregenz
The Kunsthaus Bregenz digitises the literary works of Bechtold Kalb-Wacker. Photographs, letters, and manuscripts are digitally registered and documented. Several thousand objects have already been digitised and stored in the electronic database HIDA-MIDAS.
1.2) Naturmuseum inatura Dornbirn
The library of the natural history museum inatura Dornbirn includes a variety of information dealing with the geography, biology and environment, with a particular focus on documents, literature and images on Vorarlberg. The library catalogue has been registered and is accessible online via the online library catalogue of the Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek.
1.3) Frauenmuseum in Hittisau
The Frauenmuseum (Women’s Museum) in Hittisau digitally registers its cultural heritage objects (every day objects, including craft, folk and arts). In addition, it has contributed to the establishment of a database of cultural heritage objects for the region of Bregenzerwald (Kulturgüterdatenbank Bregenzerwald). The role of the Frauenmuseum is to reflect the female perspective of cultural heritage.
2.1) Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek
The Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek is a public institute of the province of Vorarlberg. It documents and preserves literature on Vorarlberg.
A major initiative of the Voralberger Landesbibliothek is the establishment of a Digital Vorarlberg Library. In a first step, the magazine Montfort has been digitised and can now be accessed online (including a search function by key words). Other historical magazines of Vorarlberg are now continuously digitised and made available on the Internet. Online search criteria include format (e.g. CD-ROMs, books, articles etc.), period of time, subject, and language(s). It is also possible to view the objects online.
The media catalogue Vorarlbergensien (Medienkatalog Vorarlbergensien) can also be accessed online. The catalogue includes audio, video and press documents dealing with the theme Voralberg, such as the television news Vorarlberg Heute (since 1988) and Landesrundschau (since 1997), as well as documentations, radio broadcasts, sports, culture or political features or radio dramas. Furthermore, the catalogue includes more than 50,000 newspaper articles covering Vorarlberg in the Austrian, German, and Liechtenstein press. These can be accessed online and viewed at the Landesbibliothek.
A major initiative of the Landesbibliothek is the digitisation of the Risch-Lau collection of post cards, in a first step by microfilming. The collection features mostly landscapes and persons from 1948 to the 1970s. The collection originates from the company archive of the former publisher of postcards Risch-Lau. The collection was purchased in 1990 by the Landesbibliothek and includes approximately 40,000 objects (negatives, positives and glass templates) which mostly feature images of Vorarlberg. More than 7,000 objects have been digitised so far.
3.1) Vorarlberger Landesarchiv
The Vorarlberger Landesarchiv is both the historical archive as well as the administrative archive for the province of Vorarlberg.
Its main responsibilities are:
- Preservation and documentation
- Management of archive collections
- Research on the history of Vorarlberg
- Education and information
The state archive recognises the growing importance of digitisation, although currently it depends on microfiche to store documents and records.
4) Further digitisation initiatives in Vorarlberg
4.1) Digitisation of Vorarlberger Landtagsprotokolle (protocols of the state parliament of Vorarlberg)
The digitisation of the protocols of the state parliament of Vorarlberg was a major initiative of the Vorarlberger Landtag. So far, the digitised protocols date back to 1994; the annexes back to 1999. In a further step, the protocols dating back to 1989 have also been digitised. They can be accessed online. In the future, it is planned to digitise the entire parliamentary documentation from 1945 onwards.
The parliamentary protocols are an important and invaluable information source on the political, legal, social, lingual, and historical development in Vorarlberg.