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easydb - The University of Bayreuth New Object and Media Collections System online

Being one of the youngest universities in Germany, one might not expect the University of Bayreuth to hold extensive object and media collections brought together by its researchers or bequeathed by related associations. But far from it!

The museum and art space “Iwalewahaus”, founded 1981 by the scholar Hans Ulrich Beier and the artist Georgina Beier on behalf of the University of Bayreuth, holds a unique and globally known collection of contemporary African art. The Beier art collection forming its centrepiece, the holdings have been and are still being constantly extended. The Iwalewahaus
collection now comprises a wide range of artworks from Africa: art from the Oshogbo Group (Nigeria) represented by Twins Seven-Seven or Muraino Oyelami, the Nsukka School of Arts in Nigeria with works from Obiora Udechukwu and El Anatsui, from Senegal and Zaire, the Ivory Coast and East Africa, as well as an African media and film collection. 

Since the focus on the African continent and its diasporas at the University of Bayreuth has been one of its outstanding and unique research areas from its foundation in 1975; acting since May 1990 under the umbrella of the Institute of African Studies, a diverse range of research data archival collections in different media have been brought together over the past decades that await fresh attention.

Furthermore, the Botanical Garden of Bayreuth University holds in its herbarium a collection of c. 90,000 plants from all over the world. The valuable collection also includes the historical holdings of the natural scientist Johannes Kaulfuß (1859-1947) that was formerly stored and rediscovered at Plassenburg castle in nearby Kulmbach.

To make these collections digitally visible and accessible to the interested public locally and globally, provide information about them and to enhance their input for research and teaching, the University acquired the Digital Asset Management Software “easydb” as the future information system for its collections. Complementing the holdings of the University Archive
 the web-based image and object management system will expand the University’s collection into the digital sphere.

As the first major step in the digitalization process of the University of Bayreuth, the digital twins and digital born objects of the art collection of the Iwalewahaus are being remodelled from the former museum and archival management system “FAUST” to the “easydb” system architecture by a collaborating team of research associates from the Iwalewahaus, the Digital Solutions team of the Cluster of Excellence and the Research Data Management team of the university.


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