About Us

arthistoricum.net - Fachinformationsdienst Kunst, Fotografie, Design scroll to top

In the context of the DFG-programme "Specialised Information Services for Researchers (FID)" the two partner libraries operate "arthistoricum.net - Specialized Information Service Art, Photography, Design"

UB Heidelberg
SLUB Dresden
focused mainly on:focused mainly on:
European Art History up to 1945
and General Art Studies
Art since 1945, Photography,
Industrial Design and Commercial Graphic Arts


The aim of the current funding phase (2024-2026) is to further consolidate and optimise arthistoricum.net as an authoritative and sustainable information and service infrastructure for European art and art history, including photography and design. The entire service portfolio is primarily intended to meet the current needs of academia, while at the same time ensuring a comprehensive range of information and literature for future research. In addition, the specialised information service promotes and supports digital research and publication practice.

The following priorities are pursued in close cooperation with the specialised academic community:

  1. demand-orientated collection development and supra-regional provision
  2. expansion of the subject-specific information infrastructure of arthistoricum.net
  3. operation of publication services for open access publications
  4. digitisation of art history media including in-depth indexing
  5. specialised bibliographic services and creation of standard data for science
  6. communication and co-operation

What does arthistoricum.net offer? scroll to top

The aim of the project is the further expansion of arthistoricum.net into an integrated, specialist information service on European art and art history, including photography and design. www.arthistoricum.net is the central, already established in the specialist community information infrastructure of the "specialist information service art, photography, design" (henceforth: FID), which has been operated by both applicants since 2012. In addition to providing its own information service, the portal increasingly serves as an interactive presentation and communication space for interdisciplinary research and interest groups. The well-used blog for the cross-disciplinary, professional and collaborative exchange of knowledge is to be expanded by an editorially supported news service on network publications to provide an informative facet.

The value-added services implemented in the first two project phases (2014-2017; 2017-2019) were systematically consolidated and further developed in the third project phase (2020) in order to meet the differentiated needs of the specialist communities on the functional and content level. The conceptual updating and re-planning of the fields of work incorporated numerous findings that were gained from scientific collaborations in recent years. In addition to acquiring holdings in the print area, the focus was still on expanding the national online offering of art historical media - above all in the context of national FID licenses and the provision of full-text searchable digitized, copyright-protected art literature in open access. The trained competence fields of search technology, information infrastructure, electronic publishing; retro digitization and online presentation of research-relevant media stocks as well as science communication were consistently expanded. The possibilities of collaborative publication options realized with linked data technologies (e.g. digital works directories or online editions) as well as the image research area have also been significantly strengthened.

In the fourth project phase, the systematic consolidation and further development of the value-added services implemented in the previous project sections will continue to be pushed forward. Both the continuation of the inventory build-up in the print area and the expansion of the nationally available online offers of art historical media (FID licenses, e-publications and retro-digitized items in open access) will continue to be carried out according to the established and proven criteria, as will the continuous expansion of the fields of competence search technology, information infrastructure, electronic publishing and science communication. This also includes the expansion of collaborative linked data technologies for publication options and research tools. In all activities, the specific needs of the scientists and the current development lines of the disciplines are decisive for the further development of the offers.
arthistoricum.net has been part of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) since October 1st, 2020. As co-applicants, SLUB Dresden and Heidelberg University Library are jointly responsible for Task Area 4 (Data publication and data availability) of the NFDI4Culture consortium for research data on tangible and intangible cultural assets. Further information can be found here: arthistoricum & NFDI4Culture.

The aim of the fifth funding phase(2024-2026) is to further consolidate and optimise arthistoricum.net as an authoritative and sustainable information and service infrastructure for European art and art history, including photography and design. The focus here is on linking collections, documentation and access through digital services with the most direct access possible to the required literature and sources. In addition, the FID promotes and supports digital research and publication practice through community-based support services. In fulfilling these tasks, the FID is in close contact with the scientific community, the overall FID system and other information infrastructures, such as the NFDI or the Kompetenzzentrum für Lizenzierung (KfL). The Heidelberg University Library and the SLUB Dresden are co-applicant institutions in the NFDI4Culture consortium and are thus actively involved in the development of a national research data infrastructure for tangible and intangible cultural assets.

The FID pursues five strategic goals: 1. the development of holdings and the supra-regional provision of subject-relevant media, 2. the operation of the subject portal arthistoricum.net with subject-specific research offers as a high-performance information infrastructure for the provision of services, 3. the operation of innovative publication services for open access publications, 4. the operation of bibliographic services, subject-related standard data work and content indexing, and 5. activities for networking, science communication and knowledge transfer as well as contribution to the overall FID system.

The supra-institutional provision of all media and information offers of the FID KUNST/Specialised Information Service for Art goes well beyond the basic tasks of academic libraries and offers scientists optimal support for the research process in the field of basic and cutting-edge research through location-independent access options in connection with digital working instruments.

arthistoricum.net works closely with its scientific advisory board. Further impulses are expected from the close collaboration with the scientific partners in ongoing and planned sub-projects. In addition, the coordination process with the specialist community is continued systematically and continuously. Roadshows (on-site and virtual) in art history institutes serve to "advertise" the range of services, but also to coordinate with users.

Chronicle scroll to top

In the years 2001 to 2004 (Dresden) and 2005 to 2010 (Heidelberg/Munich), two virtual libraries were established for the subject of art history with the support of the German Research Foundation (DFG): Since then, the SLUB Dresden has been operating "ViFaArt -Virtual Library of Contemporary Art" as a special collection library for "Contemporary Art since 1945, Photography, Industrial Design and Commercial Graphics". The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Central Institute for Art History), together with the LMU München (Institute for History of arts) and the Heidelberg University Library responsible for the special collection "European Art History up to 1945 and General Art Studies", operated "arthistoricum.net - Virtual Library of Art History".
After expiration of the DFG funding, it was decided to merge the two services and to present an integrated virtual library of art to the expert community under arthistoricum.net. The new offer started in January 2012 and will - after the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich withdrew from the project at that time - only be operated by the above mentioned partners.
The new conception of the now jointly maintained platform was carried out under consideration of the modules existing in arthistoricum.net and ViFaArt. A graphically and functionally convincing sum of the offers of both predecessor portals was aimed at. For this purpose, a critical appraisal of each previous component was carried out, various elements were reworked and, when necessary, modified.

Since 2014, the existing offerings have been expanded to become a specialist information service for art, photography and design as part of the new DFG programme Specialist Information Services for Science and Humanities

Advisory Board

The developement of arthistoricum.net is supported by a scientific advisory board. Find out more about the members of this commitee and get to know their research themes.


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