About the project

GDK Research publishes unknown photographic documents, administered by the Photo Study Collection of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (ZI), about art during the Nazi era via a freely accessible image database. The database was made possible by means of advanced database technologies and a method especially developed for this project which allows for the connection of a digitalized photograph’s details with data records of particular artworks (APS Visual Annotation).

In 2007 and 2008, a team working at the ZI prepared the contents of this project and developed a sophisticated data model based on MIDAS. In December 2008, the ZI team submitted its grant application with the working title GDK-ONLINE at the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – German Research Foundation) in the funding measure “academic research information system” (“Wissenschaftliche Literaturversorgungs- und Informationssysteme”). The Haus der Kunst Munich (Historisches Archiv (historical archive)) and the Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin (German Historical Museum Berlin) (Abteilung Kunst II (section art II)) are project partners of GDK Research.

The DFG approved the application on July 24, 2009, and gave it the file number INST 19415/4-1 for a term of two years. The project was realised between September 1, 2009 and August 30, 2011 (see more information on

Especially regarding the documentation of the Great German Art Exhibitions in 1937 and 1944, the project was extensively supported by the photograph collections of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library), represented by Dr. Reinhard Horn and Dipl. Bibl. (certified librarian) Angelika Betz and by the Stadtarchiv München (Munich City Archives), represented by Elisabeth Angermair M.A. as well as by the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv (Bavarian State Archives), section V., represented by Dr. Sylvia Krauss.

Team GDK Research

Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich (project management)

Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister, Dr. Stephan Klingen, Dr. Iris Lauterbach, Dr. Ralf Peters

Academic staff:
Ulf Dingerdissen M.A., Dr. Johannes Griebel, Julia Lehnert M.A., Lucie Valdhansova M.A.

Contracts for service: Dr. Marlies Schmidt, Dr. Brigitte Zuber

Haus der Kunst, Munich

Sabine Brantl M.A.

Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin (German Historical Museum)

Prof. Dr. Monika Flacke
MitarbeiterInnen: Katrin Abromeit, Jens Jarmer, Nina Mews

Work packages

  • digitizing of GDK catalogues: ZI,
  • digitizing photo albums and NS archive of Photothek (Photo Study Collection): Hermann & Krämer, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • digitizing GDK’s books of accounts: Lucie Valdhansova M.A., Dr. Johannes Griebel (ZI)
  • data acquisition of GDK catalogues: Ulf Dingerdissen M.A., Julia Lehnert M.A., Dr. Ralf Peters (ZI)
  • data record of artists’ biographies: Lucie Valdhansova M.A.
  • photographic documentation of stocks from Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum): Katrin Abromeit, Nina Mews (DHM)
  • data migration from database of Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum): Jens Jarmer (DHM)
  • data acquisition and data control of GDK’s books of accounts: Sabine Brantl M.A. (Haus der Kunst), Lucie Valdhansova M.A. (ZI)
  • documentation GDK 1937: Dr. Marlies Schmidt
  • documentation GDK 1944: Dr. Brigitte Zuber
  • linking images of NS Archive and clipping of photographs in the albums: Ulf Dingerdissen M.A., Julia Lehnert M.A. (ZI)
  • linking LOC photographs: Lucie Valdhansova M.A. (ZI)
  • art-historical development, enrichment and editing of database: Ulf Dingerdissen M.A., Dr. Johannes Griebel, Dr. Stephan Klingen, Julia Lehnert M.A., Dr. Ralf Peters, Lucie Valdhansova M.A. (ZI)
  • database software: APS 2.0: Stegmann Systems GmbH, Rodgau
  • design & templating: Thomas Jung Werbung und Design, Dresden
  • scientific advice: Dr. Jens Bove (SLUB), Sabine Brantl M.A. (HDK), Prof. Dr. Monika Flacke (DHM), Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister, Dr. Iris Lauterbach (ZI)


The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte is much obliged to both its cooperation partners: the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum), Berlin and the Haus der Kunst, Munich. Further gratitude goes to the German Research Foundation and all supportive Munich organizations. A special thanks to the ‘Freunde des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte e.V. CONIVNCTA FLORESCIT’ for their generous funding of the english version of GDK Research. At this point we also want to express our thanks to Dr. Ralf Stegmann and Sascha Sander from Stegmann Systems for their professional and patient consulting.