Research Projects of the first funding phase

Three joint research projects formed the core of the association in the first funding phase. They intensified cooperation between the three institutions by jointly pursuing current lines of inquiry in textual, visual, book and media studies as well as in the history of ideas. This research were conducted from perspectives based on the three institutions’ holdings. In each case, content design, methodological differentiation and concrete implementation of the projects were the responsibility of research groups comprised of the research staff from the three institutions and internationally renowned figures in the scholary community. The association's research projects were supplemented by the implementation of a Virtual Research Environment and will be continued in the second funding phase.

In a series of three exhibitions, the MWW Research Association presented its projects to the general public, while offering a view of the entire spectrum of the collections.

Writers' Libraries: Materiality – Orders of Knowledge – Performance

This research project concerned writers’ libraries: priorities within collections, intellectual profiles and performative framings, as well as their relationship to public and semi-public libraries. At the same time, the project examined writers’ libraries as sites where new knowledge is produced and as evidence of transformation in scholary and poetic practices.

Politics of the Image: Authors’ Portraits and Iconic Authorisation

The project assembled current approaches in research on texts and images in order to highlight the central concept of “'iconic authorisation” based on the holdings of the network institutions. It examined the functional mechanisms of authors’ portraits and their predecessors in literary discourse.

Text and Frame: Modes of Presenting Canonical Works

The Bible, Faust, the Classics: what is it that makes them canonical? The project worked on the hypothesis that an appeal to the senses plays a decisive part. This lies, for example, in the tangible and visible materiality of books, but also in presentations in words, gestures, and song. The research group analysed how canons are subject to trends and examine the conditions and limitations of the media employed, thus providing a critique of collections in the Enlightenment sense of the term.

Digital Research Infrastructure

The research association will develop a common infrastructure for deploying modern information technologies. Scholarly work and the publication and storage of its results will be placed on a new footing. In this area, the research association was persuing three joint projects in the first funding phase:

Data Modelling and Metadata

This sub-project thus focused on using metadata to model those entities being described, as well as developing and applying metadata standards for the research network. The metadata will make it possible to combine and use the different components that make up the Virtual Research Environment.

Development of a Virtual Research Environment

The aim of this sub-project was the construction of a virtual environment for research, that will provide researchers with digital access to the collections of the three network institutions as well as interactive computer-based opportunities for formulating methodologically innovative research perspectives.

Development of a Reliable Storage Site

The three institutions have agreed to develop a joint digital preservation system to guarantee the safe storage of their digital object data which has already reached large proportions and continues to expand rapidly. In the framework of this project, a digital preservation system was designed according to the model of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS)