Rolf H. Krauss
THE PHOTOGRAPHIC NUDE AROUND 1900
A Media Phenomenon
The turn of the 20th century marks an important date in the history of nude photography. The recent invention of the halftone relief process made the joint printing of image and text possible, with the result that books and magazines became new forms of presentation. As a result, a great number of such publications conquered the market. A concurrent dissection of these publications indicates that the photographic nude of that period was especially significant in four areas: first, as previously, but phasing out, as a model for artists; then as a visual aid for anatomists and anthropologists; further as subject of artistic photography; and finally in connection with the Life Reform movement.
The Fused Database ‘Image Index of Art and Architecture’
The Image Index of Art and Architecture is a cross-collection image database for the documentation of architectural and artistic heritage that is meant to serve art and cultural science studies. With over
2 million photographic images relating to works of art and architectural history in Europe and neighbouring regions, the Image Index is one of the world’s largest and leading specialized web portals. It has been online since 1999, and its use is free of charge. It is supported by the German Documentation Center for Art History – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (DDK) at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, which also operates the satellite products ‘Digital Portrait Index’, the manuscript portal ‘Manuscripta Mediaevalia’ and the new ‘Graphics Portal’, which is expected to go online in 2017. Commonplace software systems make it possible to implement established standards of subject-specific documentation, international technical and semantic standards as well as the use of common metadata formats such as LIDO.
Volker Janke und Thomas Helms
DIGITAL INVENTORY OF PHOTO ALBUMS
A Field Report
In more than one hundred years of collecting at the Open-Air Museum of Folklore in Schwerin-Mueß, extensive image holdings – around 70,000 photographic objects – have been amassed. The photographs were initially acquired as a means of illustration for scientific publications, lectures and teaching. Inventory efforts were, for a long time, reserved for the more noteworthy objects such as precious daguerreotypes, magnificent photo albums or framed photographs. The bulk of the images was therefore neither inventoried nor merged into a cohesive photographic collection. Instead, the photographs were regarded as addendums to archive holdings that were organised following their own system. The pictures could only be found through the – usually obvious – main motif or a system of complex references. Only the digitisation of the photographic material permits a digital image management system with effective inven-
tory options. During the last ten years, a workflow for the in-depth inventory of photographic collections was developed and the storage conditions were improved at the picture archive of the Open-Air Museum of Folklore in Schwerin. The digitization and inventory processes will be described by example of photo albums.
‘BE EMBRACED, MILLIONS!’
The Photographic Heritage of Switzerland
According to a comprehensive and extrapolative study, commissioned by Memoriav (Association for the Preservation of the Audio-visual Heritage of Switzerland) to the Fotobüro Bern, the Swiss photographic heritage amounts to over 67 million images. Of these, around 50 million images are held by publicly accessible institutions (museums, archives, public offices or documentation centres, and libraries) and over 17 million are held by third parties (photographers’ archives and estates, amateur holdings, company archives, and private collections). However, estimates based on the online reference tool fotoCH (<www.foto-ch.ch>), which lists 14,000 photographers as well as academic and private collections, indicate that far more than 140 million photographs have been taken throughout the country since 1839.
The study also reveals that around 75% of the photographic heritage that is located in institutions and organizations in Switzerland has not yet been processed, so registered, inventoried and preserved. Based on a cost of CHF 1.50 to 2.00 per photo, the federal, cantonal and communal authorities would need to spend CHF 55 to 74 million, or approximately EUR 51 to 67 million, on this in the coming years.
AGAINST FASCISM, RISK OF WAR AND CAPITAL
A Postcard Project
Under the umbrella of the Willi-Bredel-Gesellschaft, one of the many history workshops based in Hamburg, a project that is dedicated to the collection and documentation of political postcards of the inter-war period of 1919 to 1939 has been established. The project is concerned with postcards that one could classify under the title ‘Against Fascism, Risk of War and Capital’. This grouping does not only include the decorative First of May postcards that often lend a revolutionary and romantic dab of colour to history books and respective exhibitions. The project initiators aim to distance themselves from the element of glorification that the mass-medium postcard is typically associated with, and instead reconstruct postcards as historical sources in a broad sense. This article introduces the project, which will continue to run for some years to come, and invites collaborators. The website <www.proletcard.info> offers a preliminary overview.