MLU-HistData – Historical Data Centre of Saxony-Anhalt

The Historical Data Centre of Saxony-Anhalt was founded in 2008 at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg as a permanent institution for subject-specific research data management. While adhering to FAIR principles, the scientific data centre provides interdisciplinary advice on modelling, digitisation, analysis, publication and re-use of primarily humanities data. As an innovative scientific institution for shaping digital change, the Data Centre develops concepts and guidelines for subject-specific data management. These include processes such as data curation, authorship and documentation and ensuring data quality. The Data Centre consults on research projects and supports researchers as a data publisher through data curation, data enrichment (authority data) and publication in the subject-specific repositories of GLAM institutions. MLU-Hist-Data cooperates with the University and State Library of Saxony-Anhalt in expanding the certified data repository shared_it: 17,479 historical data sets have been contributed, though data protection law currently prevents direct access to most of them. A portal ( was opened in spring 2020 for such sensitive data to ensure publication via metadata, and further oral history holdings are currently being integrated.
The Data Centre is an innovator in the area of personal entities (interviews, biographies, life history data, images, genealogical mass data, etc.). It has developed the "Ontology of Historical, German-language Office and Occupational Names (OhdAB)", a taxonomy for the analysis of historical occupations compatible to international standards (PST, HISCO, KldB2010, GND), and it is part of several interdisciplinary and international networks (ENCHOS, HISCO, History for Data, ICARUS) to develop cross-disciplinary standards and digital analysis tools. At the same time, further subject-related vocabularies for text mining and the quality-assured, automated contextualisation and analysis of structured and unstructured data (e.g. personal and location data, time data, causes of death, kinship relations, etc.) are being developed. In this way, Hist-Data coordinates entity specific work processes (e.g. geo-data and personal data) in direct cooperation with communities of citizien sciences such as the Verein für Computergenealogie or the Landesheimatbund Sachsen-Anhalt, up to internationally networked science and GLAM infrastructures.
The data centre has itself organised or coordinated historical mass data recordings with the help of digital tools and accompanies larger networks (such as the Association for Computergenealogy) with workshops, conferences or forms of data curation. The Data Centre also has expertise in the retro-digitisation of old data and their scientific recoding and re-use. The data centre participates actively and partly coordinating in general and subject-specific networks of data management and science (Competence Network nestor, Research Data Alliance (RDA), Digital Humanties in German-speaking countries: AG Datenzentren, History for Data, Association of German Historians: AG Digitale Geschichtswissenschaft, Historical Commission Saxony-Anhalt).



( alle Fotos (c) Katja Dohnke)

Dr. Anne Purschwitz 
Marius Wegener
Julian Freytag
Dr. Olaf Simons
Katja Liebing




TA 2: Data Connectivity


Research Institution


Dr. Katrin Moeller