COVID-19-pandemic led to high demand for Hornemann Institute's online courses
At the beginning of the year, everything still took its usual course: On January 22nd, Prof. Dr. Dipl.-Rest. Alexandra Jeberien (FHTW Berlin) gave the last lecture of the Hornemann Kolleg 15 - Nach der Katastrophe (Restoring after the disaster): " Präventive Konservierung in der Krisensituation? Notfallplanung und Erstversorgung von Beständen und Sammlungen in Syrien“ (Preventive conservation in a crisis situation? Emergency Planning and Initial Care of Holdings and Collections in Syria).
At the end of January 2020, the DAAD research fellowship of Prof. Dr. Yulia Griber, University of Smolensk (RUS), on the Russian version of EwaGlos (European Illustrated Glossary of Conservation Terms for Wall Paintings and Architectural Surfaces) was concluded with a press conference via Skype to Russia which among others was also covered by Russian television.
Subsequently, the awareness of the danger of the Corona pandemic led to a change of the previous work routine: In mid-March, HAWK decided that non-teaching events would be cancelled.
The shift of teaching and advanced training to online formats resulted in an approx. 35% higher demand for the Hornemann Institute's online courses. Thanks to a wide range of support from student and academic assistants, alumni and colleagues from the restoration courses and other central institutions at HAWK, the small institute team was able to respond very well to this: Our online courses were used by around 80 participants from 19 countries in the summer semester and by around 70 participants from 15 countries in the winter semester for their professional development. At the same time, integration into HAWK study program is increasing.
The greater use also led to greater feedback and ultimately to increased updates in the courses. In addition, the great response triggered new considerations for the practice-oriented further development of the course programme, through new topics and suitable authors, but also through new educational media possibilities.
At the same time, the course programme was also expanded: the German courses "Kirchenräume und ihr Klima. Heizen, Lüften, Ausstattung schützen“ (Church rooms and their climate. Heating, ventilation, equipment protection) and „Konsolidieren von Holz“ (Consolidation of wood - Possibilities and limits of structural consolidation). The course on documentary photography was updated and expanded by Christine Fiedler and translated into English by a German-Irish restorer. The content of the course "Conservation of Globes" was comprehensively revised by the author, Mag. Dr. habil. Patricia Engel. The first course of the three-part course series by Ursula Schädler-Saub "How should we act? Theory and ethics of conservation and their significance for practice" was translated into English.
Since dialogue is an important component of both our conferences and the Hornemann Kolleg, in addition to the specialist lectures, we have decided not to switch to an online format, but to move all our planned events, first to autumn 2020, then to 2021: Our next major conference, Das Fragment im digitalen Zeitalter. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen neuer Techniken in der Restaurierung (The Fragment in the Digital Age. Opportunities and limitations of new conservation-restoration techniques) will take place on the 7th and 8th of May 2021, after two postponements - shortened by the social programme on the first day - as a hybrid event or online. This conference will focus on what the new digital possibilities mean for the preservation and communication of the historical fragment. On October 1st 2020, the original date of the conference, the posters have already been published online, with a short video introduction by Ursula Schädler-Saub. This was also our contribution to the European Restoration Day 2020. The planned conference proceedings are now being published as a preprint for the conference.
We prepared further events: On the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the inauguration of Bishop Godehard (1022-1038), the diocese of Hildesheim is planning a year of celebration. The Hornemann Institute of the HAWK, together with partners, will take this anniversary as an opportunity to organise an interdisciplinary conference on the former Benedictine monastery church of St. Godehard in Hildesheim from 19th to 21st September 2022, as the church celebrates its 850th anniversary of consecration in 2022. In 2020, the concept was developed with three main foci:
1) the foundation of the monastery and the building of the church in the 12th century,
2) the remodelling of the church and monastery in the course of the reforms in the 15th century, and
3) its historicist redesign in the 19th century.
Around 25 experts from various disciplines will be involved, especially from art history, history, restoration, monument conservation and architecture.
The research project on the sgraffiti in Hildesheim was completed. It deals with the images scratched into the façade plaster with regard to their original effect. In 2020, in cooperation with the two HAWK restorers Anneli Ellesat-Brümmer M.A. and Dipl.-Rest. Heike Leuckfeld, a great deal of contemporary literature and archival material was examined and material samples analysed. Two final publications are in the works.
The number of e-publications in the field of preservation of cultural property offered via our web portal has continued to grow: in addition to the full texts of Master's theses, the number of essays published online has increased. Among others and now almost all essays from our conference proceedings "Consolidation & Communication. Materials and Methods for the Consolidation of Cultural Heritage: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue" online.
In the course of changing the content management system for the HAWK website, a new website for the Institute is also being developed. The revised link lists are already published on the old website.
In the background, we are constantly optimising the technical aspects of our digital services. This ranges from the adjustments of workstation computers and server maintenance to the preparations for new server versions, the installations of new versions including the conversion of the database interface for the website and all online offers, the revision of online forms and their functions to backup copies as well as data protection and security aspects.