Research Unit


The cultural heritage of a society comprises the entirety of material artefacts and immaterial cultural attributes. In our rapidly changing and globalising world, cultural heritage provides orientation in space and time. The recording of cultural heritage is one of the main tasks of the humanities. It must be taken into account that culture changes and interest in the past is subject to varying trends. Such changes and the concomitant threat to the survival of the cultural heritage must be met with careful scholarly attention.

The research unit CULTURAL HERITAGE: BIOGRAPHY AND EDITIONS deals with recording, safeguarding and preserving selected domains of Austria’s cultural heritage, of the cultural heritage of the Habsburg Monarchy and its successor states as well as of the Balkan region, making them available to society with the purpose of growing knowledge and generating new insights. Open Science and sustainability play a key role here, as research results should be made easily and permanently accessible to the wider public via open access. One of the research unit’s main foci is collective biography, while others include historical source editions – the examination of historical documents in relation to special topics and their annotated publication. The research unit works together closely with the digital humanities to develop digital research infrastructures as well as new digital technologies and evaluation strategies for recording cultural heritage.

The research unit comprises institutionalised long-term projects, as well as externally funded projects.

Long-term projects: Austrian Biographical Encyclopaedia, Minutes of the Council of Ministers of the Habsburg Monarchy, Foreign Office Documents of the Republic of Austria

Externally funded projects: Minutes of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Austria, Mapping historical networks: building the new Austrian Prosopographical | Biographical Information System (APIS), Perceptions of the Other in Travelogues 1500–1875 – A Computerized Analysis.