Real Lexicon on German Art History
The Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte (RDK) is a reference work arranged in alphabetical order.
As the largest and most comprehensive realism encyclopedia in the field of art history, it contains articles from the fields of architecture, the fine arts and handicrafts, as well as materials and their uses. Are treated u. a. Materials, handicrafts and artistic techniques, forms of construction, building tasks, furniture and textiles as well as pictorial themes from the field of Christian and profane iconography . The focus is on the works of art from Central Europe, especially the German language and cultural area. It covers the period from the early Middle Ages to the Classical Modern.
The lexicon goes back to an initiative of the publisher Alfred Druckermüller (1882–1967). In 1927 Max Semrau and Otto Schmitt , who took over the management after Semrau's death, began working at the University of Greifswald. In 1937 the first volume appeared in the JB Metzler'schen Verlagsbuchhandlung . When Otto Schmitt was appointed to the Technical University of Stuttgart , the editorial office was relocated there, after his death in 1951 to the Central Institute for Art History (ZI) in Munich. The lexicon has been published by the ZI since 1970. The commission publisher was the CH Beck publishing house in Munich.
Digitization and continuation online
In cooperation with the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, the Central Institute for Art History in Munich also developed a digital form of the texts that had previously appeared in print ("RDK Web") as part of a research project funded by the DFG from 2004–2007. In 2012, it was decided to discontinue the print version of the Real Lexicon on German Art History with the completion of Volume X and to develop the lexicon further into an online platform. The new form makes it possible to publish outside the alphabetical sequence and is intended to enable interactive knowledge generation. The online version was developed in 2012-2014 by the Realienkunde Research Center at the Central Institute for Art History in Munich in cooperation with the Chair of Information Science at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and has been available since January 2015 as the "RDK Laboratory".
RDK Labor is the online platform for art historical object research. In addition to the articles in volumes I – IX of the RDK that have already appeared in print, new articles from the fields of architecture, fine arts, handicrafts and iconography, as well as materials and techniques are published here.