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Milestone – GEI-Digital halfway to a million!

Since the historic textbook digitisation project GEI-Digital was launched in 2009 the team has digitised approximately 560,000 pages from over 3,000 volumes. By the end of the second project phase at least another 300,000 pages will have been digitised.

The Georg Eckert Institute’s digital textbook library is therefore continuously growing and in so doing is providing a steadily expanding resource for countless researchers and interested members of the public in the field of historic textbook research. The German Research Foundation is supporting this long-term digitisation of textbooks dating from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century, a project which makes these primary sources accessible to academia as a comprehensive collection.

The material available through GEI-Digital allows people around the world an overview of historic textbooks and gives them an impression of regions, places and states that generally no longer exists in the public consciousness. At the beginning of the twentieth century children were learning in their geography lessons that Mount Kilimanjaro (also known as Kaiser-Wilhelm-Spitze) was, at 5895m, the highest mountain in the German Empire. Accordingly colour images of the mountain frequently featured in German textbooks [Link: urn:nbn:de:0220-gd-5940879]This project enables us to compare the frame of reference for school children from a century ago with that of today.

GEI-Digital is a cooperation project. In addition to the GEI the participants are the Research Library for the History of Education at the German Institute for International Educational Research (BBF/DIPF) and the Gauß IT centre at the Technical University Braunschweig.

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