Knowledge, Spaces, and Media Faculty of Philosophy

Digital Indexing of the Estate of Jan Tschichold

Patrick Rössler: The importance of pictoral representations in the process of political communications is undisputed, but little is known about the standards of media image reporting in the first half of the 20th century. The aim of the proposed research project is therefore identifying empirically supported findings on longer, possibly even decades-spanning developments in this area, in order to arrive at statements about continuities and discontinuities in visual political communication and to characterize the dimensioning of the political in more detail.

10/2019 - 04/2021

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) :
110 000 Euro

Project management

Jan Tschichold belongs to the most important book and type designers of the 20th century. He worked in the Bauhaus environment and had a lasting influence on typography, especially before, but also after the Second World War. He is famous for his manifesto on "new typography" of 1925, the first textbook on the subject from 1928, and for his reduced graphic design, which focuses on the effect of the unprinted surface and continues to influence our printed matter design today. Since 2006 his work has been housed in the German Book and Type Museum of the German National Library (Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek - DNB) in Leipzig.

The focus of the project is the digital indexing of the estate of Jan Tschichold. It will then be made available on the Internet. For this purpose, parts of the estate were initially selected for publication on the Internet, which is also legally permissible. This involves approximately 18,500 sheets. The digitised material will then be made available through various channels: Via the Portal Catalogue of the German National Library (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek), the metadata and the digitised material will be searchable, displayable and exportable en masse. The metadata will be offered under CC-0 licence, the digitised material under a different Creative Commons licence. In addition, the data will be imported into the German Digital Library (Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek - DDB) and the Europeana. During indexing, the digitised material will also be enriched with the vocabulary of the Common Standards File (Gemeinsame Normdatei - GND). This will make it possible in future, for example, to search for all materials relating to individual drafts and book projects, as well as for clients, publishers etc. This will create the first electronically linked catalogue raisonné of the designer's work. The indexing of the estate is to be made as close to life as possible through research in the history of media and design. The results of the project will then be presented to the specialist public in a symposium and documented in an edited volume.