Matters of the project


This subject deals with the goals of the project in two sub divisions:


The project can be explained with the following sketch:


In short, the advantages of the system are:

  • Performance
  • Protection of the original notes
  • Detecting interrelations


Migrating a handwritten archive into an online resource

Whilst archives, so far, limit themselves to presenting actual stocks or less extensive documents online, this project runs a pioneer-like attempt to provide a whole and extensive handwritten archive online. Most up-to-date computer-techniques and modern analysis serve in order to edit the 2.3 million digital pictures which are planned to be a long-lasting open source.


Interlinking a body of acquired knowledge

Richard Wossidlo’s estate as a researcher in the field ranks among the most relevant folk-archives in Europe, bearing no taboos in terms of the amplitude of subjects. It’s density, coherence, systematic and hand-written notation represent an early attempt of establishing an interlinked  database – a challenge for computer scientists. To visibly unfold the interlinking within different corpora and integrating further corpora opens up new dimensions and synergies for science which is essential to this project. Systematically ordered collections of paper slips are provided, on the one hand, of an ethnographer and the evaluated correspondence with his collection helpers. The character of this stock is, on the one hand, primarily regional-encyclopaedic and holds evaluated data of field research as well as then already published sources from different periodicals, which were hardly accessible.

On the other hand, the online collection is going to be supplemented by excerpts of trans-regional ethnologic literature (approx. 500.000 to 600.000 digital images).


Virtual platform for ethnologic estates

The estate is assorted by a highly differentiated thesaurus – which is re-edited in terms of catchwords and subsequently presented multilingually. Enriching parts of the collection are farther stocks of significance for the historic origin and development of the estate. These include correspondences with other scholars, thematically arranged newspaper articles, fragments of manuscripts, biographic information and much more (approx. 120.000 digital images). Furthermore, the alphabetically arranged vocabulary research of Wossidlo is going to be made available, which he compiled for the (recently edited) Mecklenburgian dictionary (1942-1992). This includes the works of Hermann Teuchert, the first leader of the “Wörterbuchstelle” (dictionary office), and his assistants. By doing so, we have the opportunity to  interlink and combine knowledge of ethnologic-ethnographic and regional-related character which makes a virtual platform into which other ethnologic estates can be included e.g. archive of folksongs and toponyms, region-related supporting documents concerning the “Atlas der Deutschen Volkskunde” (Atlas of German Volkskunde) and others, of which further edition in a context of regional- and contemporaneous survey seems relevant.


Fife pillars of one project

1.    Production of colour digital images and film material with a prolonged storage life, which has been advertised EU-wide. Mikro-Univers (Berlin), which has digitalized and filmed the estate of Theodor Fontane, was accepted bidder. The films, partly consistant of silverhalogenids, which promises a durability for a minimum of500 years, are going to be stored in the central storing place of the Federal Republic of  Germany, the tunnel of Oberried/Breisgau, Baden-Würthemberg). This part of the project will be financed by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK).

2.   Revision of the catchword-system which was implemented by Richard Wossidlo, and support of the archive system’s online presentation, a full-time job for a scientific staffer in the field of Volkskunde/European Ethnology/cultural anthropology, filled by Dr. Stefanie Janssen (Mönckeberg/Kiel) since July 2010 and funded by the The German Research Fundation Society (DFG).

3.   Development of a database. The management of knowledge and the semantic interlinking requires a special and sustaining solution in archiving, meeting international structural standards (EAD-XML, METS, MPEG-7, CIDOC CRM). Retrieval, analysis,   publication and presentation of search- and research results, the digital archive is based on actual systems (PostgreSQL/PostGIS incl. data-mining-upgrade, Protegé, MyCoRe). WossiDiA will not only provide a look at the available material but also serious analysis. Researchers shall be able to connect their actual issues and references, autonomously communicating with the existing data material in order to possibly enrich the existing stock. Thus, we expect to complete the estate or gain farther transcripts, for instance by the acquisition of correspondence material. This part of the project is funded by the DFG and put into practise via a cooperatrion with the department for computer science at the University of Rostock (Dr. Holger Meyer and computer scientist Alf-Christian Schering). To guarantee sustainability, arrangements with the computer and IT centre were made.

4.   The semi-automatic indexing and input of data requires student aides, which was approved of by the DFG.

5.   Additionally, volunteer helpers of the “Society of encouragement for Wossidlo-Archive” (GWA) support the project. Thanks to the GWA and a supporter from Rostock, the archive material could be prepared for the project, which took several years. 

This tree-year-lasting project was approved for 24 months in the fist stage. The approval third year of the project depends on the evaluation on the progress, the project made.

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