University of Innsbruck


The University of Innsbruck is an Austrian higher education and research institution founded in 1669. Its main mandate is to focus on research and development, teaching and continuing professional education and training. It has 16 faculties, or 81 institutes, ca. 28.000 students and 4.600 employees.

The University founded the Institute for Contemporary History in 1984, covering the whole spectrum of contemporary history from the late 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century,as well as including interdisciplinary aspects necessary for understanding the modern periods. The institute’s members work with a wide range of different methods and tools focusing especially on the collection of oral histories and the qualitative analysis of historical newspaper-material. Projects in recent years focus on contemporary migration issues, Digital Humanities and memory, thus reflecting the institutes continuous development towards internationally discussed research and teaching-trends.

In Newseye, UIBK-ICH is the leader on digital humanities applications and uses, and thus a key partner at crossroads between Digital Humanities and Computer Science partners.

The Digitalisierung und Elektronische Archivierung (Digitisation and Digital Preservation Group) (UIBK-DEA) was founded in 2002. Main areas of activity are digitization, text recognition and information extraction and software development. DEA was responsible for Austrian literature online library (still one of the largest collections of digitized books with a reference to Austria in its historical borders), for the complete digitization of the Innsbrucker Zeitungsarchiv (Innsbrucks Newspaper Archive), several index card catalogues as well as Audio/Video material. DEA hosts one of the largest OCR clusters based on ABBYY FineReader (32 cores with a daily computing volume of more than 100.000 A4 pages per day). Within DEA several software applications were developed, e.g. the eBooks-on-Demand platform serving more than 40 libraries, the “Digitized catalogues application” hosting more than 40 library catalogues from Austria, Slovakia, and Serbia. Recently the Transkribus platform was launched which has 6000+ registered users and enables users all over the world to apply text recognition and enrichment tools on their historical documents. UIBK-DEA will lead on data management, providing a single access point for all tasks connected with the management of research data.

Team Biographies

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eva Pfanzelter

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eva Pfanzelter is professor of contemporary history and deputy head of the Institute of Contemporary History as well as Deputy Head of the Research Center of Digital Humanities at the University of Innsbruck. She is an expert in Digital History, Migration and Minority History and Central European Contemporary History. She was co-founder and one of two leaders of Austria’s first online contemporary history portal (Zeitgeschichte-Informations-System) in 1996 (discontinued in 2003), is responsible for the growing online oral-history migration video-archive and co-editor of the online, gold-open-access peer-review Journal historia.scribere. After having been nominated several times, in 2014 together with the co-editors she received the Award for Teaching Excellence of the University.

Eva has published two books and (co-)edited eight books (among them peer-reviewed and open-reviewed ones) as well as numerous articles and given many talks and lectures all over Europe and in the US. She is reviewer and juror for internationally highly regarded funding institutions and journals.

Günter Mühlberger

Günter Mühlberger works at the University of Innsbruck, Department for German Language and Literature and leads the Digitisation and Digital Preservation group. He also heads the Digital Humanities Research Centre at the University of Innsbruck. He received his Ph.D. in literary history about the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. From 1991 to 2002 he worked as a research assistant for German Language and Literature. Since the mid 90ies his work focusses on digitisation, digital libraries, text recognition and digital humanities.

Günter was responsible for several national and international projects, e.g. LAURIN (digitisation of newspaper clippings, 1998-2000), METADATA ENGINE (structural metadata extraction and OCR for gothic letters, 2000-2003), reUSE (2003-2006, digital preservation), IMPACT (sub-project leader for text recognition, 2008-2012), Digitisation on Demand / eBooks on Demand (DoD, EOD, 2006-2012), tranScriptorium (work package leader for data management for handwritten text recognition) and EU Newspaper (member of the executive board, OCR processing and enrichment of newspapers). Since 2016 he coordinates the Horizon 2020 Project READ (Recognition and Enrichment of Archival Documents). A major deliverable of the project is the implementation of the Transkribus platform which aims to provide a comprehensive set of services for scholars, archives, libraries, and family historians for the transcription, recognition and searching of historical documents.

Barbara Klaus

Barbara Klaus studied Journalism and Communication as well as Theatre, Film and Media History at the University of Vienna and works since 2012 as an editor in Vienna. She is currently writing her dissertation on communication(s) of war in the Austrian field post (1914-1918). Her main research area is the media and communication history of the 19th and 20th century with a particular focus on the First and Second World War. Since July 2018 she is a member of the WP6 Team in Innsbruck, Austria

Mag. Sarah Oberbichler

Sarah Oberbichler studied History and German Language and Literature at the University of Innsbruck and the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and earned her Master of Philosophy at the University of Innsbruck in 2013. She is currently writing her dissertation on the perception of migration in South Tyrol (1990-2015). From 2017 to 2018, she visited the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (USA) as a research fellow and since July 2018, she works as a research fellow on the NewsEye project, at the University of Innsbruck.