Our Vision

Our vision is to develop a reference portal to the Viennese court. To this end, VieCPro will establish a functioning infrastructure and proven workflows that will support immediate follow-up projects to VieCPro as well as enable other research projects to integrate their data into the database (Fig.). This is done either by using the database tools of VieCPro or by providing the data in common formats via defined APIs.

Extension and connection possibilities of VieCPro
Picture from the VieCPro short video of July 8, 2020

The possibilities range from a continuous expansion of the data sets in terms of time and personnel, to their biographical in depth exploration, to the improvement of the user-friendliness and networking of VieCPro by establishing additional interfaces to other prosopographic databases. Not only are bridges to the latter to be built, but the prosopographic profiles can also serve as important reference points for digital edition projects of contemporary sources related to the Viennese court. The integration of other types of sources such as pictorial or music-historical traditions, for example from the holdings of the Austrian National Library, should also be considered. A path that has already been prototypically conceived in VieCPro with the integration of Matricula-Online.

This opens up the long-term vision of a reference portal to the Viennese court: a portal that can close the gap with the Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon (from 1815) and contain short biographies analogous to the ÖBL. A portal that can make an important contribution to the progressive international networking of knowledge and data stocks by consistently linking VieCPro entries successively to biographical reference works such as the German Biography, to image databases such as the Digital Portrait Index or to national cultural portals such as the Austrian or German Digital Libraries.

Fundamental to the realization of our vision is, on the one hand, the existence of a stable institutional framework that can ensure and promote the long-term existence and growth of VieCPro. As the largest non-university research institution in Austria, the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) can look back on a long tradition in the promotion of innovative, application-open basic research. With the funding of VieCPro, the Austrian Academy of Sciences has provided the impetus for the creation of a central digital resource and a reference work, which in its further development can build on the numerous competence centers within the Academy. The Institute for Habsburg and Balkan Studies is home to several research areas, three of which – History of the Habsburg Monarchy, Digital Historiography and Edition, and History of Art – deal with the culture and history of the Viennese court. The Austrian Center for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, which was founded in 2015 as a research and service institution within the Austrian Academy of Sciences and expanded in 2020 to include the field of cultural heritage, focuses on the field of digital prosopography in its DH research area Knowledge Representation. Projects such as VieCPro promote the technical development and research of common definitions and standards for prosopographic data.

On the other hand, the connection of VieCPro with the research and work of the scientific community, especially those researching the Viennese court, is of central importance for the realization of this vision. Only through national and international exchange and cooperation will we succeed in creating a unique instrument for research that will promote the understanding of the imperial court as a center of political power and the most important place of communication, interaction and networking in the Habsburg Monarchy.

For this reason, we expressly invite you to contact us for ideas for follow-up projects as well as for cooperation.