About the project

Besides being a particularly precious part of the collection, the Individual Graphic Sheets of the Albrecht Haupt Collection (GESAH) are so unique and cover such a broad contextual and technical spectrum that they offer the greatest potential to international researchers of construction and fine arts. And yet this collection is only known to a very small circle of experts who were only able to use parts of it for their work. The key problems are the lack of specialist indexing and the difficulty in accessing the sheets. In this respect, the collection’s heterogeneity poses the greatest challenge.

After having been rearranged several times and reorganised in part over the past decades, the Individual Graphic Sheets are presently arranged only rudimentarily by formal and geographical criteria, and indexed in a card file system. Since it is not possible to systematically access the graphic sheets by content or to specifically search them by subject, their usability is severely restricted. The aim of the project is to fully digitise this high-quality stock of Individual Graphic Sheets from the collection that researchers from home and abroad have found difficult to access in the past. In the future, the items will be indexed by subject and made freely accessible online in a bid to give new impetus to research in this area.

Inadequately indexed graphics collections such as the Albrecht Haupt Collection are predestined for collaborative processing with the use of digital and virtual methods, because they appeal to different (expert) communities. Processing is therefore carried out in close cooperation with project partners from various specialist disciplines who are based at various departments of TIB and at the Chair of History of Architecture and Urban Development at Leibniz Universität Hannover’s Institute for History and Theory of Architecture.

The project is composed of three main task fields and objectives:

1. Digitisation

Objects from the Individual Graphic Sheets of the Albrecht Haupt Collection that have not yet been digitised will be digitised in line with the DFG Practical Guidelines and ingested to the Rosetta Digital Archive.

2. Indexing

a. Basic indexing will be carried out for all Individual Graphic Sheets based on existing information and provisional attributions.

b. The part of the collection containing unique architectural drawings will undergo thorough specialist indexing. In this connection, the provenance history and the genesis of the collection will be investigated for the first time.

3. Indexing environment

On the basis of Vitro software, an indexing environment (GESAH website with links via the TIB Portal) that meets the specialist requirements will be created for processing in an expert dialogue that is independent of space and time. This development should set the technical conditions and indexing environment for the further thorough indexing of the whole GESAH collection for subsequent projects. Data, data models and software should also be made available open source to comparable indexing projects.

Object of the month

December 2022

Unknown little draughtsman, early 19th century

View of a hall wall with colossal pilasters

Graphite pencil, brush, coloured ink.

39,7 cm x 24,9 cm


TIB Slg. A. Haupt, kl D Z 1: 4b

It is always possible to come across minor or major surprises among the prints in the Haupt Collection. On the reverse of a rather inconspicuous pen and ink drawing, for example, there is an ink drawing by an obviously younger artist. It depicts a wall of a high, representative hall structured by colossal pilasters, the high windows of which are framed by heavy curtains tied back. As a viewer, one is reminded of a background prospectus of a stage on which various figures are about to appear. Through the window openings, two animals sketched in graphite pencil, a billy goat and a goat, watch the forthcoming spectacle.

Only a few clues to the context of origin can be deduced from the front. It shows a view through a central perspective gateway into a mountainous landscape that is only vaguely indicated. Although it gives the impression of a travel sketch, it is more reminiscent of a study drawing because of the academic-looking central perspective. The collection documentation attests that the drawing was made at the beginning of the 19th century and that it originated in the German-speaking countries. From the point of view of the history of the collection, it is conceivable that it originated at the drawing school of Friedrich Weinbrenner (1766-1826) in Karlsruhe. Sketches on the backs of the surviving exercise sheets repeatedly show childlike caricatures or sketches, which allows socio-historical conclusions to be drawn about the everyday life of these training situations, including the early entry age of the pupils or also parental care situations around 1800 (anyone who has ever looked after children in a home office may perhaps still be able to easily understand this from their own experience today). Possibly, therefore, this drawing testifies to the beginning of a great career of an important 19th century architect.

Simon Paulus