University of Salzburg

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Electronic database / Collection

Short Description

REALonline – the digital image database of the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture (IMAREAL) of the University of Salzburg – provides the visual cultural heritage of Austria and the Central European regions for research in the ditital Humanities via the Internet in all its details.
The outstanding feature of REALonline is the detailed indexing of the many elements of each image. All depicted persons, things, animals, plants and landscapes are recorded and enriched with further information, such as the grain of the wood, the gestures of a beggar or the shapes and colours used. This results in a versatile data pool with more than one million pieces of information about depicted elements that can be systematically filtered, searched and analyzed. In order to make even the smallest details in a picture identifiable, there is a view with tagged pictures.
The image database contains more than 22,500 data records on visual media of various art techniques and genres, which were mainly created in the 12th to 16th centuries and are now kept in cultural heritage institutions in Austria and the neighbouring regions of Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and South Tyrol as well as in Poland and Romania.

Contact Person

Mag. Dr. Isabella Nicka

Research Services

REALonline offers a wide range of filter options. Users can enter via the full text search, but can also flexibly combine entries from well-structured search facets and thus precisely control the search process. A thesaurus search invites you to browse the image database and thus explore the world of historical images. A geobrowser helps to search for places and can also be helpful in planning your next cultural trip. At myREALonline, users can create and share their own collections.
The data is also available online as a neo4j graphics database (-> Search -> Expert search), so that researchers with complex queries can analyze patterns and special features in the data material.
If you have any questions or if you are interested in REALonline Workshops, please turn to the contact persons.

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

The data on the pictorial elements and their characteristics are recorded in a structured system in REALonline, so that the data material forms an important basis for research questions from various disciplines. Data modeling as graphs also offers the possibility of visualizing and investigating the relationships between the individual pictorial components. With REALonline, images can be analyzed as configured networks of semantic elements. The extensive thesauri used to normalize the data at input can also be used to elucidate thematic relationships in queries and visualizations of results.
The REALonline software is open source - for further information, please consult the contact persons.

Mag. Dr. Isabella Nicka
Institut für Realienkunde des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit
+43 662 8044 4981
Please contact us via, or contact the responsible person for this section, mentioned in the contact field.
Ontology of Narratives of the Middle Ages (ONAMA)
Katharina Zeppezauer-Wachauer, Peter Hinkelmanns, Isabella Nicka, Manuel Schwembacher
Daten neu verknoten. Die Verwendung einer Graphdatenbank für die Bilddatenbank REALonline.
Ingrid Matschinegg, Isabella Nicka, Clemens Hafner, Martin Stettner und Stefan Zedlacher,
DARIAH-DE Working Papers Nr. 31. Hrsg. von Mirjam Blümm, Thomas Kollatz, Stefan Schmunk und Christof Schöch; mitherausgegeben von Andreas Kuczera. Göttingen: DARIAH-DE, S. 1-36.

REALonline Enhanced. Die neuen Funktionalitäten und Features der Forschungsbilddatenbank des IMAREAL.
Ingrid Matschinegg, Isabella Nicka,
In: MEMO. Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture Online 2, 2018.
doi: 10.25536/20180202.

REALonline–Explore and Find Out. Wohin führt das ‚Digitale‘ die Kunstgeschichte?
Isabella Nicka
In: Newest Art History. Wohin geht die jüngste Kunstgeschichte? Tagungsband zur 18. Tagung des Verbandes österreichischer Kunsthistorikerinnen und Kunsthistoriker. Herausgegeben vom Verband österreichischer Kunsthistorikerinnen und Kunsthistoriker (VöKK). Wien, Online-Publikation 2017, 223–235.

Datenmodellierung und -visualisierung mit Graphdatenbanken. Konzepte und Erfahrungen anlässlich des Relaunches der Bilddatenbank REALonline.
Ingrid Matschinegg, Isabella Nicka
In: DHd2017 Bern. Digitale Nachhaltigkeit Konferenzabstracts 13.-18. Feb. 2017, 111-114. online verfügbar:

REALonline - IMAREAL's Digital Image-Server.
Ingrid Matschinegg,
In: Magistrat der Stadt Wien - Referat Kulturelles Erbe - Stadtarchäologie Wien (Hg.), [Enter the Past]. The E-way into the Four Dimensions of Cultural Heritage. CAA 2003 | Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeologie | Proceedings of the 31st Conference, Vienna, Austria, April 2003 (BAR International Series 1227) Oxford 2004, 214 - 216.

Die Bild- und Textdatenbank am Institut für Realienkunde des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit.
Gertrud Blaschitz, Patricia Harant, Elisabeth Vavra,
In: Klaus van Eickels, Ruth Weichselbaumer und Ingrid Bennewitz (Hgg.), Mediaevistik und Neue Medien. Ostfildern 2004, 141-163.