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Thorsten Wübbena

Head of Digital Historical Research Unit | DH Lab
Room: 03-02, Diether-von-Isenburg-Str. 9-11, 55116 Mainz (Besucheranschrift)
Phone: +49 6131 39 39392


Personal Details:

Thorsten Wübbena studied art history, history and cultural studies. From 2000 to 2019 he worked as an academic staff member at the Art Historical Institute of the University of Frankfurt; from 2007 to 2012 he played a lead role there in the DFG project “Sandrart.net: A net-based research platform on the history of art and culture in the 17th century.” Between 2011 and 2014 he was a researcher affiliated with the DFG-funded project “Music video aesthetics on portable devices” at the University of Heidelberg. From September 2014 to May 2019 he has been working as Directeur de recherche (Digital Humanities) at the German Center for Art History in Paris (DFK Paris). Since 2019 Head of the Digital Historical Research Unit | DH Lab at the IEG.

Research Interests:

Digital methodology in the humanities and cultural studies
Decentralised and modular research infrastructures in the field of cultural heritage
Methods of process and project management in the Digital Humanities
Visual arts and their medial reception


4D: Dimensionen | Disziplinen | Digitalität | Daten, Computing in Art and Architecture, Bd. 6, Heidelberg 2022 (edited together with Lisa Dieckmann, Bettina Pfleging und Georg Schelbert)
The elephant in the room – Musikvideos und Mediensoziologie, in: Alexander Geimer, Carsten Heinze und Rainer Winter (ed.): Handbuch Filmsoziologie, Wiesbaden 2022, p. 1431–1444. (with Henry Keazor)
Bomber’s Baedeker – vom Text zum Bild zur Datenquelle, in: Manuel Burghardt et al. (ed.): Fabrikation von Erkenntnis – Experimente in den Digital Humanities, Zeitschrift für digitale Geisteswissenschaften / Sonderbände, 5, Wolfenbüttel 2021 (with Felix Bach, Stefan Schmunk und Cristian Secco)
Von Warburg zu Wikidata – Vernetzung und Interoperabilität kunsthistorischer Datenbanksysteme am Beispiel von ConedaKOR, in: Canan Hastik und Philipp Hegel (ed.): Bilddaten in den Digitalen Geisteswissenschaften, Episteme in Bewegung, Beiträge zu einer transdisziplinären Wissensgeschichte, Bd. 16, Wiesbaden 2020, p. 133–148.
Die Modellierung des Zweifels – Schlüsselideen und -konzepte zur graphbasierten Modellierung von Unsicherheiten, Wolfenbüttel 2019, Zeitschrift für digitale Geisteswissenschaften / Sonderbände, 4 (ed. together with Andreas Kuczera and Thomas Kollatz)

Research projects:

"Digitale Kartenwerkstatt Altes Reich" (DigiKAR) - digital map workshop Old Empire

In cooperation with IfL Leipzig, IOS Regensburg, JGU Mainz and EHESS Paris - The project develops and tests concepts for the collection, modeling and visualization of site-specific historical information from the Holy Roman Empire (of the German nation). It thus makes a contribution to historical research on the Old Empire as a space of overlapping rulership, as well as to the further development of digital analysis and visualization of historical data with temporal-spatial properties.

"Linked Art" – Exploratory Project on the Use of Network Analysis in the Field of Art History

In the course of the seminar "Network Science in the Humanities", which Demival Vasques Filho conducted in the summer semester 2020 in the Mainz Master's programme "Digital Methodology in the Humanities and Cultural Studies", the students Sophia Renz and Vanessa Tissen started their project. 

Bomber's Baedeker: From image to text

The two-volume publication "The Bomber's Baedeker. A Guide to the Economic Importance of German Towns and Cities" was produced by the British Foreign Office and the Ministry of Economic Warfare during the Second World War. It lists towns and cities of the German Reich with more than a thousand inhabitants and information on their war-related infrastructure, industrial and production facilities. Only four copies are known to exist worldwide, one of them in the IEG. 


Conception of the data competence centre HERMES - Humanities Education in Research, Data, and Methods

In the conception phase for the establishment of the HERMES data competence centre, the IEG is working with the partners to develop learning opportunities, research activities and networking formats to meet the need for training, further education and training, practice-oriented advice and interdisciplinary networking in the field of humanities and cultural studies research and in related application-oriented fields of activity (especially in GLAM institutions).


The open source software ConedaKOR is an open source scientific research software. It has been used in the context of research in the humanities for over twelve years and is constantly being further developed. ConedaKOR provides archiving, management and research of image and metadata on a common web-based interface. It is therefore aimed at image-oriented research, in which digital representations make the mostly analogue object of study available in research and teaching.


European peace treaties of the pre-modern era in data (FriVer+)

This project transformed the data, in accordance with the FAIR principles, that is made available on the website Europäische Friedensverträge der Vormoderne online. This website provides information about a total of 1800 European peace treaties that originated between 1450 and 1789. The data, comprising digital images of the peace treaties as well as metadata and, in a more limited number of cases, transcriptions and even formal editions of their text, is stored in a relational database. 

Forgeries X Networks

Art forgeries have been a challenge for the art business and its collecting and preserving institutions not only since the sensational case of Wolfgang Beltracchi. From the end of the 19th century onwards, the journal "Mittheilungen des Museen-Verbandes - als Manuscript für die Mitglieder gedruckt und ausgegeben" ("Notices of the Museums Association - printed and issued as a manuscript for the members") appeared, which published current occurrences and findings relating to forgeries and suspected cases that had come to light.

HERMES: Humanities Education in Research, Data, and Methods

HERMES, short for Humanities Education in Research Data and Methods, is a BMBF-funded joint project focussing on establishing spaces for learning, researching, and networking in the humanities and cultural sciences. The aim of HERMES is to teach, develop and critically reflect on data literacy. In pursuit of this objective, HERMES designs and develops various innovative formats.


NFDI4Memory is one of several consortia within Germany that will jointly manage the creation of a long-term and sustainable research data infrastructure (Nationale Forschungsdateninfrastruktur, or “NFDI”) for the digital age. It brings together partners united by a common set of interests, needs, and aims related to the distinct challenges faced by those disciplines that use historical methods or that rely on data requiring historical contextualization.

Processing the archives of the Städelschule (1920-1950)

The Städelschule (Frankfurt am Main), together with the IEG and the Hochschule Darmstadt, conducted an exploratory survey of the Städelschule's archival holdings in 2021. The Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts (HMWK) funded this feasibility study, which was also supported by the Frankfurt University Library. In the project, the technological and information science foundations for formal and subject indexing were created and the requirements for digitising the holdings were ascertained.