Glaser Virtual World – All About Eduard Glaser (IF2019/27)



Jump into the 3D world of research on South Arabia !


Access the application

Instructions can be found on the start page of the application.



The University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) have a long tradition of research on ancient South Arabia. The Austrian scholar Eduard Glaser collected a lot of material in Yemen during the 1880s and 1890s. His estate consists of artefacts, squeezes, diaries and other manuscripts, photographs, notes, books, and articles about this fascinating region of the Near East. An important part of this estate is now preserved at the OeAW (where it has been dealt with in two earlier projects).

That said, the artefacts are currently spread all over the world, making it extremely difficult for researchers in South Arabian epigraphy and architecture, ethnology, geography, linguistics, and history to get a full picture of what Glaser has gathered.

GlaViWo seeks to collect all available information on Glaser’s collection, store it in a single database, and present it in the most modern way available, namely in a 3D virtual world which will be created dynamically depending on the users’ requests.

The idea behind the presentation is to use documents, 3D objects and images to create an experience of immersion in Eduard Glaser's world: a museum of ideas that actively responds to the questions and interests of its users, interactively reconstructing each museum room and thus appealing in particular to digital natives. The user is virtually immersed in the scholarly world of the 19th century and the fascinating culture of ancient southern Arabia.

This virtual system, which is freely available, will not only facilitate research work, but also attract young people to the field. We were able to present the project results at the most famous South Arabia conference (24th Rencontres Sabéennes, Berlin) as a prototypical model, as well as at universities.

The project brings together specialists in epigraphy, philology and 3D visualisation, all of whom are currently available in Vienna.

As of June 2023, the virtual GlaViWo collection contains more than 9,600 objects, 3,500 of which in 3D, provided with 200,000 attributes and 6,400 links between the objects. 


Copyright CC-BY-4.0 non commercial

The use of GlaViWo with its texts, transcriptions, translations is allowed for non-commercial, personal or scientific purposes.

For publication and other than private and scientific use, images, pdfs, 3D-objects require always the permission of the respective institution.

In case of use of archival material of the Academy of Sciences, Vienna, for publication purposes please contact: petra.aigner(at)

Please cite: "Austrian Academy of Sciences, Library, Archive & Collections, Project IF2019/27 Glaser Virtual World ­– All About Glaser, ..." (Short quote: OeAW, BAS:IS, GlaViWo, ... )

Please send a copy of the publication to the Academy of Sciences, Library, Archive & Collections, Bäckerstraße 13, 1010 Vienna (digital copies to bibliothek(@)


Cooperation agreements / support from individuals

Bringing together the vast scientific estate of Eduard Glaser scattered in museums, archives and libraries worldwide would not have been possible without the generous support of the following institutions and we like to thank them all:

  • Alter Israelitischer Friedhof München - Israelitische Kultusgemeinde München und Oberbayern (Ellen Presser)
  • Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena - Orientalisches Münzkabinett (Prof. Dr. Norbert Nebes, Prof. Dr. Stefan Heidemann)
  • Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Pennsylvania (Dr. Bruce Nielsen)
  • Státní okresní archiv Louny / State District Archives Louny (Dr. Jana Kuprová)
  • Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR, v.v.i. / Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Dr. Adéla Junová-Macková)
  • Městský úřad Podbořany / Podbořany - City Office (Mag. Martin Gutzer)
  • Náprstkovo muzeum asijských, afrických a amerických kultur / Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures (Dr. Eva Dittertová, Dr. Helena Heroldová; Mgr. Ondřej Crhák)
  • Regionální Muzeum K.A. Polánka v Žatci / Regional Museum of K. A. Polánek in Žatec (Dr. Radmila Holodňáková, Dr. Milena Krausová, Jaroslava Kubíková)
  • Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Vorderasiatisches Museum, Museum für Islamische Kunst, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Zentralarchiv, Fotoarchiv (Dr. Nadja Cholidis, Dr. Miriam Kühn, Michaela Hussein-Wiedemann, Frank Gaedecke, Stefan Geismeier, Alrun Gutow)
  • Universität Wien, Archiv
  • Ústav Dějin Univerzity Karlovy a Archiv Univerzity Karlovy / Institute of the History of Charles University and Archive of Charles University (Mgr. Petr Pribilinec)
  • Weltmuseum, Wien (Mag. Manfred Kaufmann)

The following institutions provided further archival material:

  • Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Archiv (Dr. Stefan Fölske)
  • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek / Austrian National Library, Archiv, Handschriftenabteilung (Dr. Andreas Fingernagel, DI, Mag. Ingeborg Formann, Dr. Ute Schmidthaler, Dr. Katharina Kaska)
  • Österreichisches Staatsarchiv / Austrian State Archives, Archiv der Republik, Haus-Hof--und Staatsarchiv
  • Staatsbibliothek Berlin, Handschriften der Orientabteilung, Archiv (Dr. Christoph Rauch, Dr. Robert Giel)
  • The National Library of Israel
  • Uměleckoprůmyslové museum v Praze / The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague (Dr. Jana Croy, Ivana Quilezova)

Online collections

Digital collections of the following institutions were consulted:

  • Akademie věd České republiky / Czech Academy of Sciences (Biografický slovník)
  • American Institute for Yemeni Studies
  • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
  • Bibliothek Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - Universität Greifswald, Archiv
  • Centre national de la recherche scientifique & Université de Lumière Lyon2 (Persée)
  • Digital Archive for the Study of pre-Islamic Arabian Inscriptions, Pisa
  • Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main (Judaica)
  • Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
  • Institute for Advanced Study
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
  • Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg / Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt
  • Musée du Louvre / Louvre Museum
  • Nadační spolek na podporu města Žatce / Förderverein der Stadt Saaz Žatec e. V.
  • Národni archiv, Inventární záznam Matriky židovských náboženských obcí v českých krajích.
  • Národní­ knihovna České republiky / National Library of the Czech Republic (Digitální knihovna Kramerius)
  • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Zeitungsarchiv) / Austrian National Library
  • Qatar National Library
  • Salt Galata
  • Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (inkl. Zentralarchiv)
  • Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen
  • The British Library
  • The British Museum
  • The Catholic University of America
  • Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Jena
  • Zeitungsportal Nordrhein-Westfalen


Keywords: Virtual reality, Ancient South Arabia, knowledge management, artefacts, Eduard Glaser


Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW)
Library, Archive and Collections: Information & Service

Bäckerstraße 13 / Stiege B
1010 Vienna, Austria



Petra Aigner
Head of project

Elisabeth Cerny
Research, texts, transcriptions and links

Ronald Ruzicka
Head of technical development

Simutech. e.U.
Technical development, implementation, database, application