Joint Initiatives

The Library is an active partner in numerous international networks and is represented in corresponding specialised bodies. In this way it is involved, sometimes in a leading role, in project-based initiatives that are devoted to the future development and modern-day adaptation of library services at the design and operational level. This cooperative approach also applies to the publication of digitized works from the Library's own holdings and application-oriented initiatives in the sphere of the Digital Humanities.

In 1994 the Library was one of the founding members of the kubikat network of leading German art-history research libraries. The work of this joint initiative by the libraries of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich, the Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rome and, since 2010, the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris, involves the co-operative indexing of the literature acquired separately in the four libraries and the ongoing cataloguing, including subject indexing, of articles from several hundred international periodicals as well as over 100 freely accessible e-journals. The kubikat libraries are also contributing, through their Write Access, to the development of the Integrated Authority File (Gemeinsame Normdatei/GND) managed by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. In 2010 kubikat became part of the Bibliotheksverbund Bayern (BVB). In addition to the advantages of copy cataloguing and the utilisation of other BVB services, the kubikat network also benefits from future-oriented initiatives such as the integration of its library data into WorldCat.

In 1999 the Library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz was among the founding members of the initially German-only, as from 2003 international collaborative network of leading art libraries and museum libraries, whose common objective was the creation of a virtual catalogue of all the libraries involved.

This collaborative project has passed through three stages of development: the initial phase of the national Virtueller Katalog Kunstgeschichte (VKK) with originally five libraries; the VKK's expansion into the international group, with almost 100 libraries worldwide; and finally – since 2012 – the reorganisation of this group into the consortium of ca. 80 international art and museum libraries participating in the Art Discovery Group Catalogue (ADGC). The technical infrastructure was developed in the first two phases in collaboration with the library of the Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie and on the conceptual basis of the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog.

The current Art Discovery Group Catalogue is based in turn on a strategic partnership with the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and its European section (EMEA) with its offices in Leiden, The Netherlands. The Library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz is represented on the ADGC steering committee of the EMEA Regional Council and hence on the body that plays a decisive role in strategic deliberations and planning. In addition to catalogue services, the collaboration between the partner libraries also includes regular international conferences and serves to intensify communication between art libraries and museum libraries around the world.

Established in 2011, DLC is a publication platform for digital documents and is a joint project by the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, the Bibliotheca Hertziana (until 2016), the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL). While the Max Planck Institutes define the operational concept and are responsible for the platform's content, the MPDL is in charge of configuring the parameters of the database and of maintaining and further developing its infrastructure. DLC is designed to allow for the expansion of its circle of providers both inside and outside the Max Planck Society.

In conjunction with its Stemmario project, the Library has formed a long-term working partnership with computer scientists at the Istituto di scienza e tecnologia dell'Informazione (ISTI) in Pisa. Under the direction of Fausto Rabitti, links have been created between the database of digitised heraldic shields from the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and an application for computer-assisted image recognition. First trialled in 2005, this now established tool for surface analysis and mechanical recognition of digital visual objects was an early advance in the field of Digital Humanities.

The project Translatio Nummorum - The Perception of Classical Antiquity via Ancient Coins by Antiquaries in the Renaissance, which ran from 2009 to 2012 with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was a collaboration between the Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance under the aegis of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Münzkabinett (Numismatic Collection) of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and the Library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. The aim of the project was to establish an interdisciplinary digital framework for investigating early modern numismatic literature. The Library's role lay in the provision of the digitized source works, while the Census concentrated on the historical literature pertaining to individual coins. Original copies of these coins were – as far as possible – identified in the Münzkabinett collection and analysed from a numismatic perspective. The collaborative project also included the organization of academic conferences and public exhibitions and is designed to allow the texts already investigated to be continuously expanded with new literary sources.

The creation of a website on Futurism was the starting point for a collaboration with several Florentine institutions that hold important and in some cases unpublished documents pertaining to Futurism. The digital archive includes the Florentine periodical L'Italia Futurista provided by the Biblioteca Marucelliana, along with a selection of documents relating to individual artists, writers and intellectuals who were involved in the design of the periodical and in the avant-garde movement in Florence. These documents come from the collections of the Fondazione Primo Conti, the Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G.P. Vieusseux, the Fondazione Longhi and Maestro Daniele Lombardi.

The Getty Research Institute is an important partner for the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, both in the sphere of research and for the Library. The Getty Research Portal is a search platform providing access to digitized art history texts and is based on international contributions from libraries with important holdings of historical source materials. The Library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz is currently represented by some 400 works in the virtual collection, whose expansion is ongoing.


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