Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Consortium Member

The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (LBIDH, in the context of VHH simply LBI) embraces the development and application of digital technologies to transform the humanities on at least three different levels: methodically, organizationally, and content-related. Its main research focus lies on Visual History, Urban Studies, and Holocaust Studies.
The institute emerged from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society (LBIGG) which was transformed and renamed in 2019. Established in 1977 at the University of Salzburg, transferred in 1979 to the Institute of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna, the institute has been located at the Hofburg, the former imperial palace in Vienna, as a non- university research institute since 2010. Lead by Erika Weinzierl 1977–2005 and by Siegfried Mattl 2005–2015, LBI has been headed by Ingo Zechner since 2015.
Non-theatrical and other ephemeral films and the development of digital platforms have played a key role in many of LBI’s thematically linked joint projects with the Austrian Film Museum (OFM), like “Film. City. Vienna: A Transdisciplinary Exploration of Vienna as a Cinematic City” (2009–2011), “Sponsored Films” (2010–2013), “Amateur Film Archeology: Excavations in Modern Visual Culture” (2011–2013), “Ephemeral Films: National Socialism in Austria” (2011–2016), “Exploring the interwar world: The travelogues of Colin Ross (1885–1945)” (2015–2017), “Doing Amateur Film. Social and aesthetic Practices in Austrian Amateur Films between the 1920s and the 1980s” (2016–2019), the Horizon 2020 project “I-Media-Cities” (2016–2019)”, and “Educational Film Practice in Austria (2019–2022).
In its previous joint projects with OFM, in particular in “Ephemeral Films: National Socialism in Austria” and “I-Media-Cities”, LBI conducted pioneering work and gathered broad experience in the development of digital film annotation, including the implementation of technical standards, the creation of semantics and ontologies (mainly controlled vocabularies), the design of web platforms addressing different user groups, and the execution of metadata enrichment on a large scale. LBI’s longstanding research focus on ephemeral films leads to an in-depth understanding of their potentials for SSH research and of the needs of researchers and other users who actually work with amateur ephemeral and “useful” films.
LBI is a research unit of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG). Founded in 1960, LBG is an independent Austrian research institution with a thematic focus on medicine, life sciences and the humanities, specifically targeting new research topics. Together with academic and implementing partners, LBG is currently running 19 institutes and employing 550 people who develop and test new forms of collaboration between science and non-scientific actors such as companies, the public sector and civil society.

Role in the Project

LBI is the coordinator of VHH. In this capacity and as leader of the respective work package, LBI ensures that the project progresses in line with the work plan, is responsible for administrative and financial management of VHH, and provides strategic guidance and support to the consortium in the implementation of their tasks.
LBI is deeply involved in all work packages and leader of tasks related to the identification and digitization of Holocaust-related filmic documents in the US, the development of controlled vocabularies and the validation of automated analysis.

Team Members

Heinz Berger

Research support and administrative support


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Sema Colpan

Project Management, Ethics Manager, Brand Steward


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Vrääth Öhner

Film and media theorist, digitization expert


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Alexander Prenninger

Researcher, concentration camps expert, Citavi project coordinator


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Joachim Schätz

Project Management (until February 2019), Ethics Manager (until February 2019), film expert, advisor


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Michaela Scharf

Editor (VHH Website)


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Fabian Schmidt

Researcher (curation of popular culture content: films), closely working with the team at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Ingo Zechner

Project Coordinator, Work Package Leader, member of the Management Board, LBI team leader, researcher


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Jakob Zenzmaier

Key Researcher (vocabularies, film and text annotation)


Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft)

Article Author

Atrocity Film

Fabian Schmidt, Alexander Oliver Zöller, Atrocity Film, in: Apparatus. Film, Media and Digital Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe, no. 12 (2021), 1-80.

The Westerbork Film Revisited: Provenance, the Re-Use of Archive Material and Holocaust Remembrances

Fabian Schmidt, The Westerbork Film Revisited: Provenance, the Re-Use of Archive Material and Holocaust Remembrances, in: Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, no. 40/4 (2020), 702-731.

Participation in Public Deliverables

D2.1 Advanced Digitization Tool Kit

Author, Contributor

D2.2 Literature Database

Author, Contributor

D2.3 Digitized Collection of Text Documents related to Footage and Films

Contributor

D2.4 Database of Films, Artworks, and other Visual Culture Products

Contributor

D2.5 Report on Digital Curation of Popular Culture Content

Contributor

D3.1 Definition of Engagement Levels, Usage Modes, and User Types

Author

D3.2 Mind Map Visualizing Multimodal Curating

Contributor

D3.3 Ethics Guideline

Contributor

D3.4 Framework for Tool Kits, Best Practice Models and Future Network Activities

Contributor

D3.5 Concept: VHH i-docs

Contributor

D4.1 Controlled Vocabularies Specification

Author

D4.2 Metadata Integration Concept

Contributor

D8.2 Project Design and Identity Handbook [revised edition]

Contributor

Participation in Events

Pre-Kick-off Meeting

Meeting

Friday, 19.10.2018, 09:15 to Saturday, 20.10.2018, 18:00

Liberation Footage and the Visualization of the Holocaust

Presentation

Friday, 30.11.2018, 11:00

Kick-off Meeting

Meeting

Wednesday, 27.02.2019, 09:15 to Friday, 01.03.2019, 20:00

Advanced Digitization

Workshop

Wednesday, 20.03.2019, 09:30 to Friday, 22.03.2019, 16:00

Curation of Engagement Levels

Workshop

Monday, 20.05.2019, 09:00 to Tuesday, 21.05.2019, 17:00

Archival Research

Mini-Workshop

Wednesday, 12.06.2019, 13:30 to Thursday, 13.06.2019, 18:00

Taxonomy of Relations

Workshop

Monday, 19.08.2019, 13:30 to Tuesday, 20.08.2019, 17:00

Archival Research in Eastern European Archives

Mini-Workshop

Monday, 14.10.2019, 13:30 to Tuesday, 15.10.2019, 17:00

Metadata

Workshop

Monday, 21.10.2019, 09:00 to Tuesday, 22.10.2019, 16:00

Vocabularies

Workshop

Thursday, 21.11.2019, 13:45 to Friday, 22.11.2019, 17:00

Bilder der Befreiung. Liberation Footage - Atrocity Pictures

Screening and Discussion

Monday, 09.12.2019, 10:00 to Monday, 09.12.2019, 12:00

Allied Attempts to Cover Nazi Crimes on Film. What Questions can the Footage Answer?

Workshop

Friday, 13.12.2019, 10:30 to Sunday, 15.12.2019, 13:00

Citavi

Workshop

Thursday, 13.02.2020, 13:15 to Friday, 14.02.2020, 17:30

NonAV Metadata (Citavi)

Mini-Workshop

Wednesday, 27.05.2020, 13:00 to Wednesday, 27.05.2020, 17:00

In Focus: Approaching the Visual History of the Holocaust through Digital Technology

Presentation

Tuesday, 24.11.2020, 16:00 to Tuesday, 24.11.2020, 17:30

Engaging with the Visual History of the Holocaust Through Digital Curation: The Case of the VHH-Media Management and Search Infrastructure

Presentation

Tuesday, 08.12.2020, 17:30 to Tuesday, 08.12.2020, 17:50

Text Analysis

Mini-Workshop

Tuesday, 12.01.2021, 09:30 to Tuesday, 12.01.2021, 13:00

Relation Detection

Mini-Workshop

Tuesday, 26.01.2021, 14:00 to Tuesday, 26.01.2021, 17:00

Exploitation Roadmap

Mini-Workshop

Tuesday, 02.02.2021, 09:30 to Tuesday, 02.02.2021, 13:00

The VHH Horizon 2020 Innovation Action

Presentation

Wednesday, 10.02.2021, 10:00 to Wednesday, 10.02.2021, 12:00

Advanced Digitization: Tool Kit & Best Practice Models

Presentation

Friday, 19.02.2021, 11:00 to Friday, 19.02.2021, 12:00

Consortium Meeting

Meeting

Tuesday, 23.02.2021, 15:00 to Wednesday, 24.02.2021, 19:00

VHH Research Seminar – Session 1: The Making of Majdanek – Cemetery of Europe (1944)

Research Seminar

Thursday, 25.02.2021, 16:00 to Thursday, 25.02.2021, 18:00

VHH Research Seminar – Session 2: Dziga Vertov’s Blood for Blood (1941) in the Interval of Fall 1941

Research Seminar

Friday, 26.03.2021, 16:00 to Friday, 26.03.2021, 18:00

Unfolding the Visual History of the Holocaust through American Liberation Footage

Presentation

Thursday, 08.04.2021, 13:00 to Thursday, 08.04.2021, 14:30

Migrating Images in the Digital Age: Multimodal Curation of Visual Records from the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps in Digital Infrastructures

Presentation

Thursday, 06.05.2021, 14:00 to Thursday, 06.05.2021, 15:00

Relational Memories

Panel

Friday, 09.07.2021, 10:00 to Friday, 09.07.2021, 12:00

LBI
Austria