Wir sind die DDB: The Heinrich-Barth-Institut e.V.
The Heinrich Barth Institute undertakes and supports efforts and measures to preserve and maintain Africa's cultural and natural heritage and to create the necessary conditions for this, for example by establishing protected landscape areas. It also undertakes and supports efforts to present research results in a way that is comprehensible to the general public, as well as to create an adequate public image of Africa and its cultural achievements.
A central task of the Heinrich Barth Institute is the safeguarding of data and materials from cultural and environmental research in the desert areas of Africa, which had already begun in the 1960s at the University of Cologne. Within the framework of the project “User-oriented restructuring of the DDB”, the photo documentation of two long-term projects funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) – “Brandberg Rock Paintings” (Namibia) and “Regional Climate Development and Human Settlement between the Nile Valley and Central Sahara/SFB 389: ACACIA” (Egypt) – was digitised and made available online via the “African Archaeology Archive Cologne” (AAArC), which is located at the object database of the German Archaeological Institute and the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne (Arachne). Funding was provided from the NEUSTART KULTUR (NEW START CULTURE) rescue and future programme of the Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, BKM).
The digitisation of the documentation of the research projects enables the scientific community, especially colleagues and students in the African partner countries, to have extensive and open access to the primary data and, in addition, provides a lively impression of the research work in thousands of photographs.