Veronika POLLOCZEK | Mihailo POPOVIC
(Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Medieval Research, Division of Byzantine Research, Vienna, Austria)

Keywords: Byzantine Studies; Historical Geography; Digitising; Long Term Data Archiving; Cultural Heritage

The devastating impact of wars on the World’s Cultural Heritage has been discussed thoroughly after 1945. Scholarly projects at the Austrian Academy of Sciences have a long tradition of contributing significantly to the field of Cultural Heritage. Amongst them is the project Tabula Imperii Byzantini (TIB), which is dedicated to the the creation of a historical atlas of the Byzantine Empire with a special focus on the Balkan peninsula and Asia Minor. During surveys in both regions since 1966 monuments and their (then) current state were documented by means of photography (for decades through slides).
This unique collection of Byzantine monuments (52,000 slides) is a rich cultural asset and a hub for future scholarship.
The aim of Dig-TIB, which is funded by the Jubiläumsfonds der Österreichischen Nationalbank (Project No. 17771), is not to confine itself to digitisation / preservation alone, but to address three distinct case studies of the TIB in order to embed the respective monuments and their destinies throughout the past decades into the overall World’s Cultural Heritage.
Dig-TIB addresses three case studies with their respective monuments [namely “Kilikien und Isaurien” (TIB 5); “Ostthrakien (Eurōpē)” (TIB 12); “Makedonien, nördlicher Teil” (TIB 16)] in order to research them carefully through the prism of Cultural Heritage (related to the before – after state of monuments), because of the current complex political and military situation in the Middle East with its repercussions for the monuments in situ (TIB 5) and because they comprise territories, the infrastructures of which are developing quickly and therefore changing the landscapes of the past at a fast pace with a strong impact on the respective monuments (TIB 12 and TIB 16).

Relevance for the conference: The submitted paper presents a unique and hitherto internationally unknown archival collection and its cultural as well as digital impact to an international audience in the capital of Austria.
Relevance for the session: Dig-TIB has the potential to illustrate how Visual Heritage can be introduced to the general public with concrete examples provided by the European Cultural Heritage.
Innovation: The innovative aspect of Dig-TIB is the fact that it addresses the notion of Long Term Data Archiving, which is in many fields a novelty in Byzantine Studies.
• Mihailo Popovic, Veronika Polloczek, Digitising Patterns of Power (DPP): Applying Digital Tools in the Analysis of Political and Social Transformations in the Historical Region of Macedonia, 12th–14th Centuries. medieval worlds: comparative & interdisciplinary studies 5 (2017) 170-194. [peer reviewed];
• Mihailo Popovic, Bogdan Şandric, Transfer of (Historical) Geographic Knowledge Then and Now. From Static Data to User Oriented Visualization. e-Perimetron, International Web Journal on Sciences and Technologies affined to History of Cartography and Maps 7/2 (2012) 50-61.