Institute for Balkan studies: CO:OP

Institute for Balkan studies: CO:OP


Given project unites the strength of 17 cultural heritage preserving institutions and universities from 12 European countries. Reinforcing the linking of said institutions with their immediate communities and thereby effect a firm sense of cultural, historic awareness not only on a national but even more on a transnational, Europe-wide level, fortifies this project’s striving. The majority of the consortium can already look back at long-lasting, well-established partnerships and co-operations within the community of ICARUS (International Centre for Archival Research; and the ENArC Project (European Network on Archival Cooperation;; project duration 2010–2015). This circumstance proves to be the ideal structural prerequisite to successfully and sustainably implement this project’s goals.

Though cultural institutions archive and safe-guard common European historical roots and their unfolding historic narrative, these institutions only peripherally reach the populace, i.e. exactly those people and communities that are the integral creators of historic chronologies and therefore should be encouraged and enabled to explore their history. Activities which invite communities to get involved in creatively exploring and effecting their history are the encouraging catalysts to opening archival material up to the public. Essential motivator for this project is therefore the bridging of archival institutions with their communities, i.e. converge the public with professionals and harvest each other’s educational potential to the fullest, create transnational awareness and kinship – in short: fuse the history originators with the history preserving institutions.

The close cooperation between archival institutions and universities will furthermore result in educational activities addressing users and future generations of professionals, i.e. the professionalization of players through close interaction. The active fostering of this sense of teamwork will release the full potential of creating European cultural and historic awareness and thus pointedly co-shape the future of our European culture in a team effort.

Historical sources are not only invaluable for historiography; they have also been instrumental for the construction of collective cultural memories and subsequently of national identities all over Europe. This project aims at establishing a sustainable and permanent, institutionalized network which unites the capacities of an audience and institutions. By encouraging active involvement in and awareness of our shared history, undeniably marginalized historic content and witnesses can be brought into light, i.e. private collections, and feed into the public perception of their historiography. Furthermore, the connection between archival institutions and the populace through means of creative media will enable innovative and inspiring approaches towards archival material and open up new perspectives on our history and our future.

Hessian State Archives, Marburg (lead partner)
International Centre for Archival Research, Vienna
National Archives of Hungary, Budapest
Budapest City Archives
National Archives of the Czech Republic, Prague
Croatian State Archives, Zagreb
Swedish National Archives, Stockholm
Finnish National Archives, Helsinki
National Archives of Estonia, Tallinn
General Directorate of Bavarian State Archives, Munich
Archive of the Diocese of St. Pölten
Ecclesiastical Historical Archives of Biscay, Bilbao
Complutense University of Madrid
University Federico II of Naples
University of Graz
University of Cologne
Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade