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Project Launch A Research Data Portal for Building Archaeology

March 3rd, 2022 | by
A Research Data Portal for Building Archaeology

Source: Felix Martin

Since November 2021, the Chair of Architectural History at RWTH Aachen University, together with TU Berlin and FIZ Karlsruhe, has been developing a research data portal for building archaeology under the title But what exactly is What are the goals of this project and for which community is it intended? We would like to answer these and many other questions in this blog post.

A cooperation project of three institutes for a common goal

The project of the three participating institutions in Aachen (Anke Naujokat), Berlin (Hermann Schlimme) and Karlsruhe (Matthias Razum) is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG PN 454194613) within the LIS funding program “Scientific Literature Supply and Information Systems” initially for 3 years. The Chair of Architectural History at the RWTH, where the initiative of the research data portal also started, is developing the web and UX design within the project, taking over the overall coordination, public relations, and maintaining contact with the expert community, and providing technical advice. FIZ Karlsruhe and TU Berlin are responsible for handling the technical, economic, and legal issues.

The goals are on two levels. On the one hand, a subject-specific repository for research data in the subject is being established. Building archaeology is primarily based on data collected on buildings, which form the basis for presentation and further research. Therefore, the storage of research data is of central importance to the subject. On the other hand, a query catalog is being created to make research data on architectural history available to researchers and other interested parties for subsequent use.

A subject-specific information infrastructure for research data

The advantages of a subject-specific repository lay in particular in the metadata structure, i.e. the systematic indexing of research data, which has been specially adapted to the needs of the discipline and which makes it much easier to store and find data on research subjects. will not only enable the storage of data generated during the documentation of historical buildings, but will also for the first time offer a platform for their adequate publication.

A modular research data portal

These three requirements – storage, retrieval, publication – are to be met with three modules that are coordinated with each other. With, a long-term storage and subject repository will be developed, and baureka.index will assume the function of a reference catalog. In a second project phase, baureka.publications will also be developed as a publication platform.

A Research Data Portal for Building Archaeology

Source: Felix Martin


Construction research repository and construction research catalog: BAUREKA

Especially in baureka.index, however, the goal is not only to provide evidence of the research data archived in Rather, this module also makes construction research data stored in other repositories and databases, or even still only available in analog form, discoverable in a central location, in order to inform the specialist community about already existing construction documentation, to enable the subsequent use of this research data and to promote scientific exchange. The research data portal will thus also contribute to intensifying the contact between university building research, heritage preservation, architectural offices working on existing buildings, cathedral works departments and other research institutes, so that all sides profit in different ways from already existing research data.

A Research Data Portal for Building Archaeology

Source: Felix Martin


Networking with NFDI will not be developed as an stand-alone solution. Instead, great importance is attached to the exchange with similar initiatives such as the subject information services (FID) and the relevant consortia of the national research data infrastructure, in particular NFDI4objects and NFDI4culture. In this way, the information compiled in about data sets on building archaeology should in turn find its way back into overarching research data portals.

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Responsible for the content of this article are Sophie Helas and Arlinda Ujkani.


Anke Naujokat, Tobias Glitsch, Felix Martin, Hermann Schlimme: – Research Repository, Catalogue and Archive for Architectural History and Building Archaeology, in: SCIRES.IT 10/1 (2020), S. 43-52.

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