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Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Further information:

Dr. Maria Effinger
Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg
Tel: +49 (0) 6221-54-3561

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Auction Catalogues – digitized

Foto-Montage: Ritterrüstung, Titelblatt Auktionskatalog, Gemälde, Titelblatt Auktionskatalog, Jugenstil-FigurWithin its special subject collection Art History the University Library of Heidelberg holds some thousand auction catalogues from various German and international auctioneers.

Within the scope of the project “Art – Auctions – Provenances. The German Art Trade as Reflected in Auction Catalogues from 1901 to 1929“, which was carried out from 1st March 2013 to 31th March 2019, auction catalogues published between 1901 and 1929 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been identified for the first time. An index of all catalogues forms the basis for further quantitative evaluation, for digitization as well as for making them available online free of charge. The auctions catalogues are the foundation for research on art-trade in the first third of the 20th century, on queries regarding collectors, on the development of taste as well as on single artists and genres. Moreover, they provide an ideal tool for research on provenances. The auction catalogues are scattered over numerous art and museum libraries.

Refined search functions including a full text search have improved the accessibility to material which up until now has been difficult to access. The Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin is a partner in this project which is financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Until June 2018 6,200 catalogues have been made available online.

Within the international cooperation project “German Sales 1930-1945. Art Works, Art Markets, and Cultural Policy”, which was completed at the end of February 2013, already over 3.200 auction catalogues published between 1930 and 1945 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria have been indexed, digitized and made available online. OCR processing has provided searchable full texts, which have been integrated into the Getty Provenance Index®. Further information can be found on

The Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin as well as the Getty Research Institute were partners in this project.


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