Resources on provenances, markings and collections
The Staatsbibliothek is a co-founder and one of the main partners of ProvenienzWiki. All interested institutions can use the ProvenienzWiki to describe provenance markings and upload image files, as well as to describe individual previous owners, the history of their book holdings, and individual collections.
The ProvenienzWiki is hosted by the Verbundzentrale des Gemeinsamen Bibliotheksverbundes.
The Commission for Provenance Research and Provenance Recording of the dbv is responsible for the content of the ProvenienzWiki.
The Integrated Authority File (GND) is a service facilitating the collaborative use and administration of authority data. These authority data represent and describe entities, i.e. persons, corporate bodies, conferences and events, geographic entities, topics and works relating to cultural and academic collections. Authority data make cataloguing easier, offer definitive search entries and forge links between different information resources.
Every entity in the GND features a unique and stable identifier (GND ID). Authority data can thus be linked to each other as well as to external data sets and web resources. This results in a cross-organisational, machine-readable data network.
In the Integrated Authority File, previous owners (persons and institutions, with partial holdings code “h”), provenance markings (work data with own entity code “wip”) and collections (work data with own entity code “win”) are indexed. The highly specialized members of the team in the Department of Early Printed Books of the Staatsbibliothek contribute significantly to the steady growth of authority data relevant to provenance research within the GND.
T-PRO is a standardized vocabulary for provenance terms, which is used for documentation and research of these terms.
The aim is to represent a case of provenance in terms of individual descriptors or descriptor chains. The sequence of provenance terms is determined by the significance of the descriptive markings, by specifications of sorting and research possibilities, and by reading comprehension. The descriptors from the T-PRO are generally used in addition to the provenances recorded via the authority data.
The structure and vocabulary of the Thesaurus are based on Provenance evidence: thesaurus for use in rare book and special collections cataloguing. In addition to English terms, the thesaurus also lists the French terms used in the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon for provenance recording.
Translation and editing of the T-PRO 2003 to 2009 by the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar, from 2009 jointly with the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
Proveana is the name of a new research database at the German Lost Art Foundation. Notably, it displays the results of research projects that were funded by the Foundation. The objective is to support provenance research through documenting historical information, thereby making it more transparent and contributing to the solution of unresolved cases. Proveana comprises four research areas: cultural assets seized due to national socialist persecution (Nazi-looted art), cultural assets displaced during wartime (war booty), cultural assets seized in the Soviet-occupied zone and the GDR, as well as cultural assets and collections from colonial contexts.
The database allows searches for people, corporations, events, collections, provenance information, objects and further documentary sources. Searches in Proveana also include the contents of the Lost Art database, as well as links to further databases. Proveana provides assistance for those whose cultural assets were seized, for their descendants, for scholars, for everybody involved in the trade with cultural goods, for the media, and for policy-makers.
The Lost Art Database registers cultural objects which as a result of persecution under the Nazi dictatorship and the Second World War were relocated, moved or seized, especially from Jewish owners. Lost Art is operated by the foundation German Lost Art Foundation at Magdeburg.
The data on all items recorded as Nazi-looted property (or suspected Nazi-looted property) from the collection of printed works of the Staatsbibliothek are transferred to the Lost Art database at regular intervals.
Search for previous owners/provenances in the authority data of the CERL Thesaurus as well as in P. Needham’s “Index Possessorum Incunabulorum”, in “Early Book Owners in Britain” (up to ca. 1550) and the database on specimen-specific characteristics of incunabula “Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI)”.
The data from the Staatsbibliothek are supplied to the CERL Thesaurus via the Verbundzentrale Göttingen.