Archives Projects

Together with cooperation partners, the Archives work on indexing, researching, conserving, digitising and publishing the holdings in their collections.


Indexing and digitisation of the dance films of the Tanzfabrik Berlin

In a cooperative project, dance films produced by the Tanzfabrik Berlin from the 1970s to the 1990s, which have been in the Performing Arts Archives of the Akademie der Künste since 2012, were indexed, digitised and made available online.


Conservational measures for the book collection in the rooms of the Brecht-Weigel Museum

In a project funded by the BKM, 247 protective sleeves from the Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel bequest libraries have been successfully restored.


The Hanns Eisler Complete Edition

The Hanns Eisler Complete Edition (HEGA) is conceived as a historical-critical edition and aims to publish all of Eisler's preserved compositions and writings. Not only will the existing print editions be revised, but large parts of the œuvre will also be edited and made accessible for the first time.


Digitising the historic exhibition catalogues and presenting them online

For many years, the art exhibitions held by the Prussian Akademie der Künste were a leading medium in Berlin's art and cultural life. The project involves the digitisation and online presentation of 216 exhibition catalogues from 1786 to 1943.


Heinrich Mann Digital –
A Transnational Reconstruction

For the first time, a shared platform will make the virtual reunification of the dispersed manuscripts and letters of Heinrich Mann possible: In 2021, his oeuvre will be made available to research and the public in digitised form through the databases and digital presentation forms of the participating institutions.


Digitising Carl Einstein’s literary and art historical papers

In cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, art historian Carl Einstein's handwritten papers, a total of over 8000 pages, were digitised and are now freely accessible via the Archives Database.


Surface cleaning of books in the Brecht-Weigel Museum

Within the scope of conservational measures, the book holdings and book furniture of the Brecht-Weigel Museum were cleaned, secured and stabilised.


Provenance Research on the Holdings of Paintings and Sculpture in the Akademie der Künste Art Collection

Provenance research is one of the fundamental tasks of museums, libraries and archives. In October 2017, this responsibility led the Akademie der Künste to organise a research project to systematically investigate the provenance of those pre-1945 works in the painting and sculpture collection which came into the Akademie's possession after 1933.


Indexing the personal papers of Ulrich Müther

The art of engineering between technology and aesthetics

In dem Kooperationsprojekt der Hochschule Wismar und dem Baukunstarchiv der Akademie der Künste, Berlin, wird in den nächsten drei Jahren der Nachlass des bedeutenden Bauingenieurs Ulrich Müther erschlossen.


Bernd Alois Zimmermann – Complete Works

Bernd Alois Zimmermann is regarded as one of the most remarkable twentieth-century German composers. The edition of complete works offers a unique opportunity now to develop innovative philological methods in the area of music.


Digitising Brecht’s Manuscripts

The Archives of the Akademie der Künste has started the process of digitising all the manuscripts held in the Bertolt Brecht Archive. Over the coming years, all typescripts, handwritten manuscripts, letters, documents, newspaper clippings and photos from the Bertolt Brecht Archive folders are to be scanned and successively made available internally at monitors in the reading room.


Indexing of recorded interviews on Eberhard Fechner’s documentary films

The archive of TV and documentary film director Eberhard Fechner comprises nearly 1,500 hours of audio recordings of interviews conducted while preparing for his films. During this project, the recordings will be indexed and linked with existing transcripts.


Film and cultural education

Together with the Film University Babelsberg, the Archives of the Akademie der Künste are developing models appropriate for film and cultural education. Students on the MA in Film Heritage have a work experience semester in the Archives providing scholarly and curatorial support for individual projects, and exploring the possibilities, forms and themes in film education.


John Heartfield. Online Catalogue and Virtual Exhibition

The personal papers and artistic estate of John Heartfield, comprising a total of around 6200 items, are considered the best-known holding in the Akademie der Künste's Art Collection. Not only do these items include original photomontages and designs for book covers and posters, but also stage and costume designs as well as Heartfield's collection of materials. Thanks to generous funding by the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, this indexing project is making the entire holdings publicly accessible.


Securing and digitising the cinematographic works in the Bertolt Brecht Archive of the Akademie der Künste

The cinematographic holdings of the Bertolt Brecht Archive of the Akademie der Künste comprise around 50 titles on approx. 70,000 metres of analogue film material. In cooperation with the Deutsche Kinemathek and funded by the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin and the Federal Government's Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), the cinematographic works in the Bertolt Brecht Archive are being secured and subsequently made available to the general public.


Creating an index of students at the Prussian Akademie der Künste 1751 – 1875

Analysing lists of students and establishing a database

One of the Prussian Akademie der Künste's key tasks was to provide academic training for visual artists. Whether a particular artist actually studied at the Akademie der Künste, will be available via a full text database.


Digitising the Literature Archive’s analogue inventories and finding aids

The Archives of the Akademie der Künste has digitised inventories and finding aids dating from between 1950 and 1996 for the personal papers of 33 authors. Now, online users can browse and search for information in a total of 57 inventories (inventories for some holdings comprise several volumes) with over 21,000 individual items.


Henschelverlag Kunst und Gesellschaft

Indexing an East German publishing house archive

In August 2015, the Archives of the Akademie der Künste took over the archives of Henschelverlag Kunst und Gesellschaft, a former East Berlin publishing house.The surviving files, provide an almost complete record of the process of preparing each individual title published by the Henschel press from 1947 to 1990. After editorial revisions, it proved possible to transfer the information indexed into the Archives Database.


Theodor W. Adorno,
Lectures 1949–1968

On behalf of the Theodor W. Adorno Archive and the Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur, the Walter Benjamin Archive is presently preparing an edition of Theodor W. Adorno's lectures from 1949 to 1968. Vorträge 1949–1968 is due to appear in the Suhrkamp Press in 2018. This edition comprises 21 improvised public (or at least semi-public) lectures Adorno gave between 1949 and 1968.


Wulf Herzogenrath’s Visitors’ Books

Wulf Herzogenrath's Visitors' Books contain a unique collection of original dedications by artists.In June 2014, the Archives launched a pilot project to digitise the 26 visitors' books (a total of 2565 double pages) and develop an app to present them.


Retroconversion of the Art Collection’s card inventory

For decades, index cards listing individual art works as well as bundles of papers (portfolios, etc.) were the primary finding aid for Art Collection staff and visitors. To facilitate the digital indexing of the holdings, an external service was commissioned to scan the pre-sorted index cards.


Digitising the Modellbücher (‘model books’) and the Hainer Hill Photo Archive in the Bertolt Brecht Archive

In 2013, with financial support from the Berlin Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs, a complex process of restoration was successfully completed for 104 of Bertolt Brecht's Modellbücher ('model books'), some heavily worn, as well as 724 photographs by Hainer Hill.


Digitising the Prussian Akademie der Künste Archives

The most extensive digitising project as yet in the Akademie der Künste Archives was successfully concluded in 2016. The Prussian Akademie der Künste Archives comprising over 77 linear metres has now been fully digitised.


Digitising Florens Christian Rang’s personal papers

The Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur took over the personal papers of Florens Christian Rang (1864–1924) as a donation for the Walter Benjamin Archive. During the last years of his life, Florens Christian Rang, German theologian, politician and writer, was one of Walter Benjamin's close friends.


Berlin Women Artists Association – 150 Years of the Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen

Archiving the collection and photography holdings of the reconstructed archive of the Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen 1867 (1867–2012)

The archival indexing process sets out to provide the materials in the form of finding aids for the interested public and prepare the data for online presentation on the webpages of both the Akademie der Künste and the VdBK.


Bertolt Brecht, Notizbücher

Historisch-kritische Hybridedition

For the first time, the entire 54 surviving Notebooks are to be edited. The Notebooks are the most important group of Bertolt Brecht's works not yet published. They played a key role in his writings and thought, accompanying his entire oeuvre (1918–1956). The edition is designed as a hybrid publication.


Werke und Nachlaß – A critical edition of Walter Benjamin’s complete works

Commissioned by the Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur and edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz in cooperation with the Walter Benjamin Archive

Since 2008, Suhrkamp Press has been publishing Werke und Nachlaß, a critical edition of Walter Benjamin's complete works. In the course of preparing this new edition of 21 volumes, Benjamin's personal papers, which provide the basis for this critical edition, have been fully restored, digitised and newly indexed in the Akademie der Künste Archives Database.


Securing and digitising Theodor W. Adorno’s personal papers

The Theodor W. Adorno Archive is an institution of the Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur, the owner of Adorno's entire unpublished personal papers. Since 2004, the Theodor W. Adorno Archive has been integrated into the Institute of Social Research (Frankfurt am Main), so much a part of Adorno's biography. The Theodor W. Adorno Archive and Walter Benjamin Archive, which are supported by the same foundation, work closely together. The latter has taken over the continuing process of indexing and securing Adorno's personal papers.


Heinrich Mann: Essays and Journalism

Complete Critical Edition

Publication of the complete critical edition of Heinrich Mann's essays, articles and journalism began in 2009 in the Bielefeld-based Aisthesis Verlag. It has close links with the Akademie der Künste and a history going back nearly 60 years.