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CANVAS | Classroom maps

CANVAS | Classroom maps was a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to create a digitisation plan for historic wall maps for schools in response to the call for proposals to "Promote research and development projects for the digitisation of objects of cultural heritage - eHeritage" (Funding Line 1).


The objective of the project was to develop a process chain for digitising a selected portfolio of 4,000 classroom maps at the German National Library. Due to conservation reasons on the one hand, and because of the underlying scientific perspective on the other, it was decided during the project to integrate the classroom map holdings of the Gotha Research Library, the Perthes collection, and the Berlin State Library in the project.
A further aim besides preserving the holdings was to reconstruct the spectrum of designs and uses of classroom maps in the period from 1900 to the 1950s.

The ability to search archive materials and the cross-linking of digitally accessible journals, textbooks and manuals put the issues into a broader historiographical and publishing history context: classroom maps were examined in terms of educational history and with regard to their materiality. Canvas as the base material of the maps, their mounting in wooden hanging devices and their storage as rolled fabric: the material aspects of this unique portfolio were given special attention within the project.

The collaboration between research institutions, libraries and archives was intended to facilitate innovative approaches to the digitisation and contextualisation of the unique collection of classroom maps at the German National Library. A workshop for the key scientific stakeholders conducted in May 2017 helped raise awareness of the project.

A further aim of the project was to prepare the application for Funding Line 2 of the eHeritage programme (put out to tender by the BMBF) which is currently being coordinated.

Project partners

  • Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (FSU)
  • German National Library | German Museum of Books and Writing


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Project coordinator


Project duration

1. December 2016 to 31. August 2017

Project homepage

CANVAS | Schulwandkarten

Last update: 01.09.2017

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