‘Travelling booklet’ (Wanderbuch) of Jakab Modern, tool smith journeyman

European Digital Treasures project partner Hungary has opened its second exhibition titled ‘Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity” on May 5th, 2022 at the beautiful Castle Garden in Budapest.  The exhibition explores the issues such as the cultural results of transnational migrations, on what ground solidarity stands when it comes to inclusion of the hopeless and how the host communities react after different migration flows. The exhibition looks at these issues from a historical perspective and presents a series of related events through 47 key documents.

© Várkert Bazár.

Besides the digital panels the exhibition includes a few original documents that are originally kept by the National Archives of Hungary. These documents are exhibited carefully supervised by conservators continuously. Regarding the summer heatwaves in Hungary the Hungarian conservators team has to be beware of critically high humidity levels. These documents because of their uniqueness are central of interest of school groups, travellers and historians from all around Europe.

In this blogpost we would like to introduce one of the original pieces exhibited at the Castle Garden. This archival document is the ‘Travelling booklet’ (Wanderbuch) of Jakab Modern, tool smith journeyman. Jakab Modern was the Magistrate of the Royal Free City of Pozsony (today: Bratislava, Slovakia), a famous tool smith master throughout Europe.

Reference Number: HU MNL OL P 975 II. 59. № 2. Kept by the National Archives of Hungary
© Zsuzsanna Lantos.

Undergirding the development of modern Europe between the 1780s and 1849 was an unprecedented economic transformation that embraced the first stages of the great Industrial Revolution and a still more general expansion of commercial activity.

From this ‘Wanderbuch’ we can walk down on history lane and learn that its owner, Jakab Modern has been wandering in German speaking regions for several years: Potsdam, Leipzig, Hamburg, Bremen, Hameln, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Ulm, München, Landshut, Regensburg, Linz were his destinations. According to this travelling document, after returning home, he also travelled through Switzerland and France. Among other cities he visited Zurich, Basel, Bern, Mühlhausen (a city in the north-west of Thuringia, Germany) and Paris. The booklet contains about 35 written folios.

Jakab after being employed by a master for several years, and producing a qualifying piece of work, the guild apprentice became a journeyman (German: Geselle, Hungarian: vándorlegény). He had his certifications from his master of the guild, which proved that he successfully completed his apprenticeship. It also meant that he is entitled to travel to other towns and countries, learning the art from other masters (these journeys lead sometimes to quite distant parts of Europe and became an unofficial way of communicating new methods and techniques). However, only a few journeymen made such long travels as the tool smith Jakab Modern did.

It would be wrong to think, however, that the Industrial Revolution eradicated artisanship entirely. The Wanderbuch (travelling booklet) of Jakab Modern is a testament to that. It records the journeys of a tool smith in Central Europe during the years 1823–1829. Just by browsing through it one can get a good impression of what Modern’s working life was like.

The exhibition can be visited until the 5th of August, 2022 at the wonderful location of the Castle Garden of Budapest, Hungary.

Written by:
Dorottya Szabó, Archivist of the National Archives of Hungary
Anna Palcsó, Public Education Officer of the National Archives of Hungary

Photograph: Zsuzsanna Lantos, National Archives of Hungary

Exhibition II: Opening in St. Pölten – Austria

On July 1st, 2022, the opening of the 2nd part of the exhibition series of the EU project “European Digital Treasures” took place at the Museum am Dom in St. Pölten. After the questioning of the “Becoming of Europe” in the first part, the second part is now dedicated to the complex of questions “migration flows – exile – solidarity” – Europe in turmoil.

Opening ceremony at the air-raid shelter of the diocese.

The air-raid shelter of the diocese was deliberately chosen as the venue for the event, in order to convey an authentic sense of what war, flight and persecution have always meant in concrete terms for the people concerned during the opening ceremony.

The interested audience of about 50 people was first introduced to the compilation by the museum director Barbara Taubinger in her welcoming speech, followed by ICARUS president Thomas Aigner, the representative of the province Florian Krumböck and the mayor of St. Pölten Matthias Stadler, who formulated their thoughts on the frighteningly topical subject. Finally, the exhibition was ceremoniously opened by Diocesan Bishop Alois Schwarz.

left to right: Matthias Stadler, Alois Schwarz, Barbara Taubinger, Thomas Aigner & Florian Krumböck after the opening ceremony.

The show will be on display for two months until the 28th of August and uses primary sources from nine major European archives to convey the various aspects of the topic. In addition to labour- and war-related migration, a third section is devoted to expulsion as a result of uprisings and state intolerance.

Written by Karl Heinz, International Centre for Archival Research.

Opening of the exhibition ‘Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity” in Malta

National Archives exhibition opening 17-05-22.

Yesterday, May 17th 2022, the second of a series of three exhibitions developed within the framework of the European Digital Treasures project was inaugurated in Malta.  On 17th of May, Minister Owen Bonnici opened the exhibition ‘Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity’ at the head office of the National Archives of Malta in Rabat. 

The narratives displayed here combine different technological tools that allow us to get to know our past through multiple channels. We chose 47 documents from 22 archives from 9 countries to tell micro-stories that shaped Europe, hoping that the innovative products will allow visitors to experiment and play, to learn and share, as well as to feel moved by our common past.

Written by Leonard Callus, National Archives of Malta.

The EDT-Exhibition Welcome Video

Starting from the end of June 2021 in Barcelona the three transmedia exhibitions start all over Europe and will last till October 2022. The basic idea of the project team was to welcome visitors to the individual exhibitions by means of a short video clip and to present and summarise the exhibition concept as it were in a nutshell. This video will greet visitors during the exhibitions on TV screens mounted overhead and, as it were, convey a first impression.

On the one hand, the participating institutions are presented, which make the exhibited documents available; on the other hand, a selection of documents that is as diverse as possible symbolises each individual thematic focus of the exhibition (The Making of Europe – Exile, Migration Flows and Solidarity – European Inventions and Discoveries). Each participating institution is represented by three documents, with each document explained with a short title and dating. In addition, the welcome video also provides an overview of the timetable of the exhibitions in the different countries.

To meet the needs of local visitors, no less than seven language versions of the video have been produced, namely in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Maltese, Hungarian and German.

In addition to the above-mentioned area of application, it is also planned to use this video, accompanied by a background melody, as a general presentation medium for the EDT project, a kind of business card for the project.

Written by Dr. Karl HEINZ, MAS,
Science & Strategy
ICARUS – International Centre for Archival Research