The Vedute in Czech and Slovak Archives
This application is a tool for providing access to records of pictorial sources created up to 1850 which are stored in Czech and Slovak archives.
Establishment of the database and web application
The database is based on information gathered from the 1990s on as part of the “Directory of Pre-1850 Vedute” project. It was created after many years of effort by Czech archivists and published by the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Archives Administration and Records Management. Work on the directory continues to this day. In 2009, a three-way agreement was reached between the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Archives Administration and Records Management (data), the Prague City Archives (server), and the company Bach Systems (application), on providing access to records and pictures of the vedute held in individual archives in the Czech Republic.
The application provides access to records from already published volumes of the list and already digitised images of these materials. The data and image base made accessible by this application is continuously updated and enlarged.
List of volumes of veduta directories issued by the Department of Archives Administration and Records Management of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic:
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. II/1, State Regional Archives. Prague 1999;
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. II/2, State District Archives. Prague 2001;
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. II/3, State District Archives. Prague 2003;
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. I/1, National Archives, Prague 2006;
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. II/4, State Regional Archives and State District Archives. Prague 2008;
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. II/5, State Regional Archives and State District Archives.
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. III/1 – Miroslava Přikrylová, Local Government Authority Archives. Collection of Prints and Drawings of the Prague City Archives, Prague 2013;
Directory of vedute up to 1850, vol. II/6, State Regional Archives and State District Archives. Prague 2015.
These volumes may be purchased at the Department of Archives Administration and Records Management of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic.
By an agreement of 21 March 2013 the Slovak archives joined the project. The database currently does not contain any records of vedute in Slovak archives, as these are still being created.
How to search?
Even though all these data are in Czech, non-Czech speakers should also be able to find individual pictures without any great difficulty. For interested persons outside the Czech Republic, the following approach is recommended.
How to search
The top right-hand field allows a full-text search of all the veduta records. For example, entering the word "Italy" calls up records that contain the word "Italy" anywhere in the text of the record, including index catchwords. Entering the name "Hollar" calls up records that contain this engraver's name anywhere in the text. Entering the term "Berlin" calls up records for which "Berlin" appears in the veduta description, the publisher's headquarters, etc.
The titles of states are given in Czech – viz list; they must be correctly written in Czech, including diacritics.
- Algeria - Alžírsko
- Argentina - Argentina
- Australia - Austrálie
- Austria – Rakousko
- Azerbaijan - Azerbajdžán
- Belarus - Bělorusko
- Belgium – Belgie
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – Bosna a Hercegovina
- Bulgaria – Bulharsko
- Canada - Kanada
- China - Čína
- Croatia – Chorvatsko
- Cyprus – Kypr
- Cuba - Kuba
- Denmark – Dánsko
- Egypt - Egypt
- Estonia - Estonsko
- Finland - Finsko
- France - Francie
- Germany – Německo
- Great Britain – Velká Británie
- Greece - Řecko
- Hungary – Maďarsko
- India – Indie
- Iraq - Irak
- Iran - Írán
- Ireland – Irsko
- Israel – Izrael
- Italy - Itálie
- Jamaica – Jamajka
- Japan - Japonsko
- Yemen - Jemen
- Jordan – Jordánsko
- Kenya - Keňa
- Kosovo – Kosovo
- Latvia – Lotyšsko
- Lithuania – Litva
- Libya – Libye
- Macedonia – Makedonie
- Malta – Malta
- Lebanon - Libanon
- Lichtenstein - Lichtenštejnsko
- Monte Negro – Černá Hora
- Morocco – Maroko
- The Netherlands – Nizozemsko
- Norway – Norsko
- Oman - Omán
- Poland - Polsko
- Portugal – Portugalsko
- Romania - Rumunsko
- Russia – Rusko
- Serbia - Srbsko
- Slovakia – Slovensko
- Slovenia - Slovinsko
- Spain – Španělsko
- Sudan - Súdán
- Sweden – Švédsko
- Switzerland – Švýcarsko
- Syria – Sýrie
- Tanzania - Tanzánie
- Tunisia - Tunisko
- Turkey - Turecko
- Ukraine - Ukrajina
- USA – Spojené státy americké
When searching the headings it is important to note that the names of localities and countries are given in a Czech or “Czechified” form, which does not always correspond to the original. Here are some of the most common examples (all names must be written with Czech diacritics.):
- Aachen - Cáchy
- Antwerp – Antverpy
- Augsburg – Aukšpurk
- Belgrade – Bělehrad
- Berlin - Berlín
- Brussels – Brusel
- Budapest – Budapešť
- Bucharest – Bukurešť
- Dresden - Drážďany
- Florence – Florencie
- Frankfurt am Main – Frankfurt nad Mohanem
- Graz – Štýrský Hradec
- Hamburg - Hamburk
- Klagenfurt – Celovec
- Copenhagen - Kodaň
- Cologne – Kolín nad Rýnem
- Kraków - Krakov
- Leipzig - Lipsko
- Linz – Linec
- Lisbon – Lisabon
- London – Londýn
- Ljubljana - Lublaň
- Milan - Milán
- Munich - Mnichov
- Nuremberg/Nürnberg – Norimberk
- Paris - Paříž
- Passau – Pasov
- Potsdam - Postupim
- Regensburg – Řezno
- Reims - Remeš
- Roma – Řím
- Salzburg – Solnohrad
- Schwerin - Zvěřín
- Sofia - Sofie
- Strasbourg - Štrasburk
- Warszawa - Varšava
- Venice – Benátky
- Vienna - Vídeň
- Zagreb - Záhřeb
After searching, a list view of the records that were found is displayed. The veduta symbol on the right indicates that a scan of the veduta is assigned to the record. By clicking on the symbol, the image gradually opens in a new window, where you can continue working with it.
The entire veduta record (detail) can be opened by clicking on the relevant line of the list. If an image preview is assigned to the record then clicking on this preview at the top right gradually opens the image in a new panel or browser window, where you can continue working with it.
The Advanced Search option is located under the search box. Clicking the arrow on the connected button brings up a menu with an overview of options:
The Volume of Directory field allows you to search for all records published in the relevant paper publication or records included in the virtual volume (I/2, II/7, III/2). Put the volume number (e.g. I/1) into the box and press Enter (you must have the Search Expression Position set to Whole Word). All records from the searched volume are found. After searching, it is a good idea to delete the search criterion, otherwise it will remain in the search box until the application is closed and could complicate further searches.
The Number in Volume field allows you to search for the relevant number in a given volume. The condition for use of this field is that a volume number must be entered in the Volume of Directory field. If, for example, volume II/6 is entered in the "Volume of Directory" field and "7" is entered in the "Number in Volume" field, the application will find the record numbered II/6-7. After searching, it is a good idea to delete the search criterion, otherwise it will remain in the search box until the application is closed and could complicate further searches.
The Dating field allows you to search for records from a certain year or specific date. As the data are presented in text form, the exact date must be entered: intervals may not be entered. If the year 1848 is put into the Dating field, then the application finds all records that contain this data. This method of searching is suitable when searching for images of significant historical events. After searching, it is a good idea to delete the search criterion, otherwise it will remain in the search box until the application is closed and could complicate further searches.
The Veduta Description field allows you to search for a word (usually the name of the locality) in the veduta description. Entering "London" into this field and pressing Enter will display only those records with the word "London" in the veduta description, i.e. not records where "London" appears as the publisher's headquarters, for example. After searching, it is a good idea to delete the search criterion, otherwise it will remain in the search box until the application is closed and could complicate further searches.
The Digitised Archival Documents option allows you to search exclusively for records to which an image is attached. Putting the locality name into this field and pressing this button brings up a list that contains only the records relating to the given locality and to which an image of the veduta is attached.
The next line is entitled Search Expression Position. Determination of the position is always related to the words of the data in which you are searching (e.g. entire veduta record, veduta description, dating). The Anywhere, At Beginning, At End and Whole Word options are assigned.
The first option can be used, for example, when searching for the name of an author who was active in various roles. Frans (also Franz) Hogenberg (1535 – 1590) was a Flemish and German painter, engraver and mapmaker. If you are going to search for his name in all these roles, type the name "Hogenberg" into the search box and click the Anywhere option. This displays all records that contain the name, regardless of its position in the text.
If you type part of a word (e.g. part of the word "Olomouc" - "olomou") into the search box and press the At Beginning option, the search engine will find all records with the expression "olomou" at the beginning of a word, i.e. not only "Olomouc" but also, for example, the Czech-language 2nd-case, 3rd-case and 6th-case forms of the word, its adjectival form, etc.
The next option allows you to search using the end of the word. For example, you are interested in all records containing the word "engraver". If you type "engraver" into the search box and press the At The End option, the search engine finds all records containing the word in that form at the end of the word, i.e. not only the word "engraver" but also "copper-engraver", "wood-engraver", etc.
If you type "Olomouc", for example, into the search box and press the Whole Word option, the search engine will find all records containing the name "Olomouc" in the Czech-language 1st or 4th cases.
The next line is entitled Phrase. It pertains exclusively to word combinations, regardless of their position in the text of records. The And Also, At Least One and As A Phrase options are assigned.
The first option allows you to search using a combination of two words. For example, let's say you are interested in all vedute created by Václav Hollar in Germany. Type the words "Germany" and "Hollar" into the search box and switch the selector to And Also. The search engine will find all records containing the word "Germany" as well as the name "Hollar". The And Also option is always offered first.
The second option also allows you to search using a combination of words, but one or the other will be searched for. For example, let's say you are interested in vedute published by Stephan Kohlneder in Brno. This publisher had a long-standing collaboration with the bookseller Johan George Gastl. If you are going to search for vedute containing one name or the other, then type "Kohlneder" and "Gastl" into the search box and switch the selector to At Least One. The search engine will find all records containing the name "Kohlneder" or the name "Gastl".
If you type a fixed phrase into the search box, for example, the name of the town "Kutná Hora", but also phrases such as "Moravian provincial surveyor" or "pen-and-ink lithography" and switch the selector to As A Phrase, the search engine will find all records containing the name "Kutná Hora" or the phrases "Moravian provincial surveyor" or "pen-and-ink lithography", etc.
The Mosaic option allows you to view truncated veduta records and previews of individual images. By clicking on the image preview you can access the record (the detail of the relevant veduta).
The list of vedute also contains index references. Clicking on the relevant index data displays all the assigned records. The index of people allows you to search in the original index for authors of text, authors of technical work and authors of undetermined name. The index of publishers allows you to search by publisher name and publishing-house name. The index of places allows you to search by locality, country, historical region, etc.
The Permanent Reference option allows a permanent reference to be displayed and copied via the clipboard, e.g. for use in a citation.
What can be found in the database?
In the introduction it is necessary to recall the definition of the term vedute agreed on at the time of the creation of the quoted directory. It understands vedute as spatial illustrations of landscapes, cities and towns, municipalities and even parts of cities and towns (including squares, streets, building facades, etc) and buildings in the landscape (e.g., castles, chapels). Depictions of historical events have only been included in the directory in cases where they feature in illustrations of landscapes, towns and cities, municipalities and feudal estates.
Plans, drafts, and section plans of buildings have not been included either. By contrast, the directory does feature the oldest perspective maps.
The pre-1850 vedute held in archives were added to the directory regardless of the character of the archival material on which the illustration was executed, and without regard to technical processing. Vedute included in the collections have been separated into individual records in such a way that every illustration is classified with its own record. A similar approach was taken in cases where several vedute were found on one record: every veduta on the list received its own record.
Individual sections of registration records of vedute have been defined in the following manner:
Description of veduta - name of locality is given in first place in Czech or in a Czech transliteration. In the case of vedute of cities and towns the name of the locality can by followed by a comma and the title of a district of the city or town (e.g., Kutná Hora, Sedlec). A dash is followed by a description of the illustrated locality.
Legend - a legend of the illustration in the original language and version is given. Legends in the directory thoroughly adhere to the form in which they have been entered in a veduta’s record by individual authors. In cases where the legend on a veduta has a specific form, such as a poem, the entry on the records list strictly respects that form.
Countries - the name of a country in the short Czech form is given (e.g. Itálie for Italy: see above). With localities in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, Česká republika (Czech Republic) is given in this section. In the case that an illustrated locality is not currently a statutory or district city or town, the appropriate district is given in this section. Suppositions and approximate information are tagged with a question mark.
Type of Record - the type of record on which a veduta appears (e.g., a free sheet of paper, a map, writing paper) is given. Other identification data (e.g., a plan of Studénka and environs with independently standing buildings, bridges, etc, including waterways and land borders (marked by a letter) may also be given; in the bottom part a linked explanatory legend – supplement to the file on the private toll at the Studénka farm).
If the work from which a graphic work has been extracted has been successfully identified a full citation of the work is given, including the page or folio, along with possible other data connected to the identification of the origin of the veduta (e.g., originally from a work by Martin Zeiler, Topographia Hassiae et Regionum Vicinarum. Das ist beschreibung und eygentliche Abbildung der vornehmsten Stätte und Plätze in Hessen unnd denen benachbarten Landschaften als Buchen /Wetterau /Westerwaldt /Löhngaw /Nassaw /Solms /Henaw /Witgenstein und andern. Franckfurt a. M., Merianische Erben 1655, Sectio 1, fol. 12 – determined according to the main register - Haupt=Register Uber weiland Martini Zeileri Samptliche so wohl Hoch- und Nieder-Teutsche als auch Franzosische Topographias. Franckfurt am Mayn, in Verlegung Matthaei Merians Seel. Erben 1672). In the case of works for which an editor has been unable to verify a full citation, either because the work is not accessible in the Czech Republic or it has been preserved in libraries in such a decayed state that only a fragment of the illustration remains, a probable determination of the work is given.
Author of the Work - the name is given in standardised form: surname, first initial of Christian name, where he worked (if that is stated on the veduta). In some cases further information is listed (e.g., Jehl A., forester at Besednice). Forms of that name on records and other forms of that name found in the directory are then given in square brackets (e.g., [Augustin Jehl]). Suppositions and approximate information are tagged with a question mark.
Author of Technical Processing - the name is given in standardised form: surname, first initial of Christian name. As with author of the work, the place where he worked is given, along with other characteristics (e.g., Döbler G., Prague). Forms of that name on records and other forms of that name found in the directory are then given in square brackets (e.g., [G. Döbler, Prag bei G. Döbler Kleinseitner Ring No. 37; Georg Döbler; G. Döbler sc.]). Suppositions and approximate information are tagged with a question mark.
Publisher - the name of the publishing house or the name of the publisher is given in standardised form: surname, first initial of Christian name, place of issuing of the graphic work, sometimes with further identification data (e.g., Schlenker J. Ch., Löbau). Names of publishing houses are given in the original form (e.g., Kunstanstalt der Bibl. Inst. in Hildburghausen). The form in which the publisher is given on a veduta, and possibly other versions of that name, respectively the name of the publishing house, are listed in square brackets, (e.g., [April 1798, gedruckt und verlegt von Joh. Christian Schlenker Löbau]). Suppositions and approximate information are tagged with a question mark.
Undetermined Name - this section was created on the basis of experience acquired during the creation of the directory. The names of printers, owners and booksellers are mainly included here, though any other name linked to the preceding section which it has not been possible to establish the identity of may feature. Here also surname and first initial of Christian name are given. Other identifying data follow a comma (e.g., press, title of the locality where the person in question worked), if that has been established (e.g., (např. Rauh J., printer, Vienna).
Forms of that name on records and other forms of that name found in the directory (e.g., J. Rauh; Gedr. b. J. Rauh in Vienna) are given in square brackets. Suppositions and approximate information are tagged with a question mark.
Dating - the year the veduta was issued is given. In the case that there is no date on the veduta, it is listed in the section as undated, or an approximate date is given in word form.
Technical Processing - technical processing is given (e.g., copper plate, water colour, lithograph, pencil drawing, information about colouring).
Number of Pages - the number of pages that make up a particular veduta is given. When the directory was being created attention was not paid to the number of copies of a given veduta in an individual archive. That information is listed in the Notes section.
Dimensions of the Frame (in mm) - the dimensions of frames on vedute is given in millimetres. The width of the frame itself can be given in brackets.
Dimensions of Picture Field (in mm) - the maximum width and maximum height of the non-circumscribed picture field, including the size of the frame in millimetres.
Dimensions of Record (in mm) - the maximum dimensions (width x height) of the whole record are given in millimetres. If only the dimensions of the whole record are given, the data corresponds to the dimensions of the veduta, respectively the dimensions of the frame of the whole record.
Location of Veduta - characterises the place on the record where the veduta is found (e.g., top left corner). This data is mainly provided in the case of vedute located on large maps, plans, etc.
State of Preservation - characterises the preservation (e.g., good, mouldy, mounted)
Archival Collection - gives the full title of the name of the archival collection of which the veduta is part. In brackets is the nearest identification data, such as inventory number, number of box, or other data linked to the record within the framework of an archival collection. Because there are many archival collections with the same title at the level of the entire archival network, during the creation of the registers the title of the archival body has been included in brackets when the title of the archive or the city or town in question is not part of the title of the archival fund (collections). An example of this is Collection of Historical Maps (SOkA Kutná Hora). A similar approach was adopted when archival materials were entered into the archival libraries (e.g., archival library (SOkA Jihlava)).
Deposit Location - abbreviations of archives are given. If only the abbreviation Státní oblastní archiv, State District Archives, is given (e.g., SOA Plzeň), the heading relates to a veduta deposited at the archive’s headquarters. If as the heading is given the abbreviation state district archives, respectively a department at that archives, or its location, this data relates to the place where the veduta is deposited (e.g., SOA Praha - SOkA Žďár nad Sázavou, Velká Bíteš dates; ZA Opava, Olomouc office).
Note - contains specific data that are not contained in the other columns. For example, data about multiple occurrences of an indicated image are registered here. In this case all available information about the occurrence of the same veduta in that or another archive fonds (collection), as well as data indicating how the example in question differs from the record in question, are cited in the archive. Usually this is citation of another document, records concerning its size, physical state, archive file and other specifications. In the case of vedute on journeyman's certificates, archives that had Klaus Stopp's work on vedute (Klaus Stopp, Die Handwerkskundschaften mit Ortsansichten. Beschreibender Katalog der Arbeitsattestate wandernder Handwerksgesellen (1731-1830). Vol. 1-15, Stuttgart 1982-1985), determine the type of veduta on this type of archival document at least by basic number.
Compiler of Record - the surname and the initial of the Christian name of the creator of the record is given.
Localities - all names of country and locality are attached to the record.
Paper Directory File - the number of the paper directory in which the record has been or will be published is given.
File Number - the parallel numbering number under which the record has been or will be published is given in the relevant file.
Archive - full name of the archives where the veduta is held.
Archive Number - the parallel number of the record is given within the framework of the individual archives.
Images of vedute
The images accessible via this application were created by individual archives.
Reproduction and Use of Archival Materials
If you would like to use some vedute for the purposes of reproduction and publication, you must make a request to the archives listed in their record. If the institution agrees, it will provide you with the illustrations at a sufficient resolution.
A Call to Users
The records in the directory have been processed by archivists at individual archives. They are not experts in this specialised field and are not closely acquainted with this type of archival material. Many of them therefore have made small errors in recording locality, graphic technique, etc.
If you come across such an error please inform us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org . We require the exact features of the veduta in question in order to make corrections. We would also like to apologise for the fact that processing possible changes will take some time, as everything depends on the development of the pertinent applications.