26.1.2016, 12 Uhr
A key to the treasure chamber: Akademie der Künste’s Archive Database now accessible online
The Archive of the Akademie der Künste is numbered among the leading interdisciplinary archives in the German-speaking world on art and culture in the modern era. Recently, the Archive launched its digital database, offering open online access to its extensive collections. The historical files of the Prussian Akademie der Künste have also been digitized and are accessible online.
The Archive Database at https://archiv.adk.de provides detailed information on 1,020,000 archival materials and 462,000 analogue and digital objects. In addition to the art collection and the Akademie’s ‘memory’ contained in the Historical Archive, the holdings presently include 1130 archives of artistic estates and personal papers from both living and deceased artists, the collections of 45 institutions and associations, as well as 70 themed collections.
The online database offers a basic description on all the holdings (content, extent, use, literature) as well as detailed information on the archivalia already processed. This enables researchers, for example, to establish whether the collection contains the original text of Die Moritat von Mackie Messer, the names of Heinrich Mann’s correspondents, the works composed by Friedrich Hollaender or the outstanding roles performed by Elisabeth Bergner and Paul Wegener. Bruno Taut’s and Hans Scharoun’s architectural models and drawings can also be viewed online as can George Grosz’s sketch books or Alfred Hirschmeier’s scenographies for Konrad Wolf’s film Solo Sunny. Above all, though, the online database facilitates research into the varied and diverse connections between artists themselves. A simple database search documents the multi-disciplinary network of personal and working relationships which is such a characteristic feature of modernity.
The historical files of the Prussian Akademie der Künste are a unique element in the archival collections. Despite the loss of materials during the war, the history of the third oldest Academy of the Arts is well documented. Not only are over 2,000 volumes of files detailed in the database, but also digitally accessible. With just one click, each of these can be read online and downloaded. These files not only offer remarkable source materials on Germany’s and Berlin’s history of art and culture, but provide an exceptional tool in biographical research. Here, one can find materials relating to Daniel Chodowiecki, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Max Liebermann just as much as Ricarda Huch, Renée Sintenis and Käthe Kollwitz – ideal research conditions which are now also available online. Please note that the Archive Database language is German.
Photo: Käthe Kollwitz's personal biographical notes, 1919 (Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Preußische Akademie der Künste, Nr. Pers. BK 296)
© Akademie der Künste, Berlin