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About Vestigia

Vestigia (Latin: traces)

The title of our research centre is also a key to our programme and mission: The search for manuscripts, their study, indexing and edition is a search for traces hidden through the passing of time.

Our Mission

The VESTIGIA Research Centre is dedicated to the scientific study of written cultural heritage, which has come down to us in various forms: as manuscripts, incunabula and early prints, as documents, plans, maps, topographica, as autographs, bequests and other rare books.

The emphasis is on recording (inventorying, cataloguing, ...), preservation (conservation and restoration), accessibility (mostly through digitisation and databases), as well as the edition of selected objects and academic research projects.

While VESTIGIA focuses on the collections at Graz University Library and regional holdings (e.g. in Styrian archives and monastery libraries), we are also contributing substantially to making manuscript collections accessible to the scientific community, especially in the neighbouring countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. This work is carried out on a project-by-project basis in cooperation with local partners.

The Centre's remit also includes an increased commitment to the digital humanities.

Here, our contribution within projects consists especially in text encoding work (XML):

Within the "Syriac Treasures" project: The catalogue of Syriac manuscripts of the Syrian Orth. Patriarchate is published as a conventional book and in electronic version. The entire catalogue thus has to be encoded in order to be output in HTML.
Within the project "The Novak Missal" (the oldest preserved missal in Glagolitic script, ÖNB Cod. Slav. 8, anno 1368): The text of the Missal will be encoded and transcribed in TEI.
Within the "Syriac Anaphoras" project anaphora texts are encoded and presentated on the website (https://syriac-anaphoras.org/)


Tasks and Objectives

  • the scientific research and indexing of the holdings of the Special Collections at the Graz University Library as well as the presentation of the results (presentations, databases, internet, printed publications, etc.)
  • indexing of previously unknown or inaccessible collections from the region of Southern and Eastern Europe
  • cataloguing of individual manuscripts and collections which, for a variety of reasons, have remained largely unnoticed to date
  • cataloguing of palimpsests and manuscript fragments
  • the conservation and, if necessary, the restoration of manuscripts and old prints
  • improving accessibility, especially through digitisation
  • the training of qualified junior staff and the constant further training of permanent staff
  • the improvement of the international cooperation network of the special collections at Graz University Library (establishment in the European network of research libraries CERL, cooperation in the Memory of the World programme of UNESCO, etc.).
  • the development and participation in national and international projects
  • the organisation of and participation in scientific congresses, symposia, conferences, summer schools, etc.


VESTIGIA Manuscript Research Centre

Director: Univ.-Prof. Dr.

Erich Renhart

University of Graz/Austria
Universitätsplatz 3A
Offices: Heinrichstrasse 78A/II
A - 8010 GRAZ

Post-Doc Researcher


Aboud Ishac

Vestigia - Zentrum für die Erforschung des Buch- und Schrifterbes

Vestigia - Zentrum für die Erforschung des Buch- und Schrifterbes


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