The German Photographic Library at the Saxon State and University Library in Dresden (SLUB) maintains an important photo archive of German art and cultural history. The KUR project aimed to preserve and publish all 68,000 film negatives which document the history of Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig between 1945 and 1960 and portray the political, cultural and urban development during this dynamic period of change and restructuring of German life. These unique, yet unpublished photos by Hildegard Jäckel, Richard Peter Sr., Abraham Pisarek, Roger and Renate Rössing portray a virtual panorama of the leading figures in politics, culture and science during the decisive years when East and West Germany were established.
The original film negatives were digitalized and then transferred to long-lasting polyester film. Many of the negatives had already begun to deteriorate – a process which today’s technology can neither stop nor reverse.
With this collection of unpublished photos of Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig, the project attempted to develop an innovative and financially viable approach to preserving cultural and historic photographic works which other photo archives may also employ. As the photos were preserved, the project made them publicly accessible via a free image databank at www.deutschefotothek.de and the Internet platform www.Europeana.eu.
Saxon State and University Library in Dresden (SLUB)