Sie sind hier:

  • ISGV - Englisch
  • Indexing and Digitalization of the Personal Archive of Adolf Spamer

Erschließung und Digitalisierung des Nachlasses Adolf Spamer

Research and editors: Nadine Kulbe, Claudia Dietze, Antje Reppe

Adolf Spamer is seen as a pioneer of the discipline “Volkskunde” (cultural anthropology) and as the scholar who shaped its academic profile in the first half of the 20th century. He was appointed to the Chair of Philology and Anthropology of the University of Applied Sciences of Dresden in 1926 and subsequently held the first exclusively anthropological chair at the Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Berlin. After the Second World War, Spamer played a leading role in the development of institutionalized cultural anthropology in the GDR. He died in Dresden in 1953.

The Academy of Sciences of the GDR acquired the voluminous personal archive, and later a large part of the documents was handed over to its Dresden research unit – the predecessor institution to the ISGV. It consists of academic and life historical documents, of the Corpus of Blessings and Incantations (Corpus der Segen und Beschwörungsformeln – CSB), a collection of devotional pictures and the so-called World War I Collection. Not only Spamer ’s correspondence with reputable anthropologists and scholars of cultural studies asks to be studied intensively, but also the original documents on phenomenona of popular culture are, as valuable sources, of great significance to research. Among them are handwritten recipe books, devotional pictures, propaganda postcards of World War I or the instructional book of the Hamburg tattooist Karl Finke. The CSB contains about 23 000 formula, documenting spiritual beliefs and medical practices since the Middle Ages. Spamer began with their collection already before World War I and continued doing so until the end of his life. The CSB is unprecedented because of its size and the long period of collection. It is also the project on which Spamer was concentrating most intensively. In order to make this multifaceted personal archive accessible to research, the material is now being indexed and will be presented in the Kalliope-Verbundkatalog of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, as well as in the Digital Picture Archive (Digitales Bildarchiv) of the ISGV.

From May 2017 to October 2019, the project will be funded by the Saxon Ministry of State for Science and the Arts. It is part of the cooperative project “Virtual Archives for research in humanities” (Verbundprojekt „Virtuelle Archive für die geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung“). This project will present the cultural and scientific heritage of Saxony for academic research in a sustainable way and for an interested public. It is the objective of this cooperative project to promote linkages between the institutions of the humanities financed by the Free State of Saxony in the area of Digital Humanities. The overall coordination of the project lies with the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig. (Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig).

Other participating institutions:

Wappen des Freistaates Sachsen

This measure is partly funded from tax revenue based on the budget decided by the parliamentarians of the Saxon State Parliament.