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Visualisation of Bibliographic Data and Content

Cooperation with the German National Library to research interactive visualisations of a comprehensive bibliographic collection

Logo des Forschungsprojekts "Visualisierung bibliographischer Daten und Inhalte"
Research project
Digital Transformation – Urban Futures
Cooperation partners:
German National Library

This project aims to explore novel graphical user interfaces for explorative browsing of bibliographic holdings of the German National Library (DNB). In cooperation between the DNB and the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP), scenarios, concepts and prototypes for the visual search and sifting of semantic information spaces are being developed in order to provide impulses for innovative ways of making richly indexed collections available. Among the collection institutions, libraries are the most advanced in digitising their collections. The DNB, in particular, which counts the collection, recording and making available of German-language media works from 1913 onwards as one of its main tasks, plays an important role here.

Together with library networks and other institutions, the DNB is responsible for the standardisation, consolidation and maintenance of various standards data within the framework of the Gemeinsame Normdatei (GND), which can now be counted as the lingua franca in the indexing of German-language holdings. Between rich indexing and inviting availability, the possibility arises to make extensive holdings accessible and researchable with innovative techniques of data visualisation. To date, however, most search interfaces lack innovative approaches and methods to present information spaces in an inviting way and to highlight connections between resources and entities for exploration.

In this project, information visualisation researchers, in cooperation with library database users and developers, are investigating the potential of visual interfaces for the exploration of large data collections. The aim is to develop viable concepts for comprehensive overview visualisations of entire collections and specific context visualisations for individual resources. Users should be enabled to grasp conceptual and thematic spaces within dedicated subject areas and across their boundaries. In the process, more detailed research will be conducted into how search and visualisation can be integrated and how attractive entry points into a collection can open up further exploration possibilities, especially for thematically oriented search queries.

The DNBVIS prototype is available here:



Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk

Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk

Research professor for Information Visualization & Management
Co-director of Urban Complexity Lab (UCLAB)


  • Johannes Herseni
  • Katja Dittrich
  • Fidel Thomet
  • Jonas Parnow
  • Viktoria Brüggemann
  • Jens Rauenbusch