About Us

arthistoricum.net - Fachinformationsdienst Kunst, Fotografie, Design

In the context of the new DFG-programme "Specialised Information Services for Researchers"
the two partner libraries

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

are extending their existing services towards a joint Fachinformationsdienst Kunst, Fotografie, Design (Specialised Information Service Art, Design, Photography). The aim of the current funding phase (2020) is the further expansion of arthistoricum.net to an integrated, subject-specific information service on European art and art history including photography and design. The entire service portfolio is primarily intended to meet the current needs of science, while at the same time guaranteeing a comprehensive range of information and literature for future research. In addition, the specialist information service promotes and supports digital research and publication practice.

In close collaboration with art historians, the following key aspects will be pursued during the current project phase:

  1. Needs-based acquisition and consolidation of digitally available resources
  2. Extension of the subject-specific information infrastructure by further developing the portal arthistoricum.net
  3. Support and development of new services for open-access electronic publishing
  4. Digitization and subject-cataloguing of resources relevant for art history
  5. Bibliographical services and authority control for research
  6. Public relations / marketing / exchange with science and research

What does arthistoricum.net offer?

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 realized in the first two project phases are to be systematically consolidated and further developed in the third project phase in order to meet the differentiated needs of the expert communities at the functional and content level. The conceptual updating and replanning of the fields of work will be based on numerous insights gained from scientific collaborations in recent years. In addition to the inventory acquisition in the print sector, the focus will continue to be on the expansion of the national online offering of art historical media - above all within the framework of supra-regional FID licences and the provision of full-text searchable digitised, copyright-protected art historical literature in open access.

The acquired competence fields of search technology, information infrastructure, electronic publishing; retro-digitisation and online presentation of research-relevant media stocks and science communication are to be consistently expanded. The possibilities of collaborative publication using linked-data technologies (e.g. digital catalogues raisonnés or online editions) and image research are to be significantly strengthened. In all activities, the concrete needs of the researchers and the current development lines of the disciplines are decisive for the further development of the offers.
The inter-institutional provision of all media and information services of the FID Art goes far beyond the basic tasks of scientific libraries and offers scholars optimal support for the research process in the field of basic and cutting-edge research in the field of art history through location-independent access possibilities in connection with digital working tools.

The cooperation of the FID Art, Photography, Design with its scientific advisory board is being established. Further impulses are expected from the close cooperation with the scientific cooperation partners of ongoing and planned sub-projects. In addition, the coordination process with the specialist community is to be continued systematically and continuously throughout the project. Roadshows in art history institutes should serve to “advertise” the range of services, but above all to coordinate with users.


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 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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