Inventory of the Fragenstein Castle

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die verborgenen Geschichten der Burgen Tirols


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Welcome to the project page of Inventaria - The Making of Inventories as Social Practice! InventariaThe Making of Inventories as Social Practice!

Our interdisciplinary and inter-university research project is dedicated to the fascinating question of what life was like in medieval castles in historic Tyrol. We use historical inventories as primary sources and peek through the keyhole into the interiors of selected castles in historic Tyrol.

Inventories are lists that provide information about the furnishings of castles and palaces. These lists were often created during changes of ownership or management and offer an authentic insight into the living conditions of the time.

The project explores how these items were recorded, described, and cataloged, which rooms were inspected, and which were possibly omitted. We are particularly interested in the people involved in these processes.

For Inventaria Inventaria, these inventory lists are historical texts that not only name items and rooms but also tell entire stories.

They give us valuable insights into the everyday and social history, as well as the associated actions, feelings, memories, knowledge, and sensory experiences of the people of that time.

For the castles in the region of historic Tyrol, inventories from the 14th to 16th centuries are remarkably well preserved: Thanks to the use of Transkribus, an advanced AI-based platform for text recognition of historical manuscripts, we process over 130 inventories from this period. By semantically modeling this data using graphs, we open up new analytical possibilities that unlock both the content and the material form of these documents.

Inventaria Inventaria not only contributes to a deeper understanding of the practice of inventorying and the social significance of spaces, objects, and the people associated with them, but also develops innovative methods in the fields of digital humanities and the history of objects and practices that can be applied beyond the borders of Tyrol.

Discover the hidden stories of the medieval castles of Tyrol!

Our goals

revised edition

Building on the renowned work of Oswald von Zingerle (ed., Mittelalterliche Inventare aus Tirol und Vorarlberg, Innsbruck 1909), we are working on a newly revised edition of the Tyrolean castle inventories. Using modern methods, we are processing the inventories of castles such as Thaur, Rattenberg, Schloss Tirol, Castel Pergine, Heinfels, Tratzberg, Runkelstein, and many more. Thaur, Rattenberg, Castle Tirol, Castel Pergine, Heinfels, Tratzberg, Runkelstein etc.

semantic analysis

We analyze the content of the inventories both historically and semantically by using state-of-the-art digital technologies such as  Transkribus, CIDOC CRM, SKOS. This allows us to gain new insights into the development of the practice of inventorying. Through these sources, we can learn more about the social life in the castles and the history of Tyrol.

Insights beyond Tyrol

In addition to insights into Tyrolean history, our work also provides general findings: We develop methods and techniques for analyzing historical inventories. By employing digital methods, it becomes possible to examine material culture and the differentiation of spaces in castles, especially from gender-specific perspectives. We anticipate new insights into the development of material culture from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period, also in the context of a possible consumer revolution during this time.