European Digital Treasures – exhibition opening in Zagreb

On November 30, 2022, the Embassy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary in Zagreb, the Liszt Institute, Zagreb and the Hungarian National Archives opened the exhibition Digital Treasures – The Construction of Europe, co-funded by the EU Creative Europe programme.

Glance of the exhibition.

The exhibition was opened by Dinko Ćutura, Director General of the Croatian National Archives and Anna Palcsó, Deputy Head of Department of the Hungarian National Archives. Dr. Anna Mladenovics, Director of the Liszt Institute, highlighted the significance of the project at European level, which is an exemplary cooperation between 42 different institutions of different member states, underlined the interconnection between European historical processes and our common heritage. In her speech, Anna Palcsó, Deputy Head of Department, emphasized the contribution and harmonious cooperation of the participating institutions, and that the project as a whole was a significant milestone for European archives. The exhibition uses multimedia tools to present the common history of Europe and Europeans from four possible perspectives, using various European archival documents. It is an interactive exhibition with exciting discoveries for children and adults alike, coordinated by the national archives of Portugal, Norway, Spain, Malta and Hungary, but including documents from other countries.

Exhibition Opening.

Director General Dinko Ćutura welcomed the spectacular exhibition and announced that their cooperation with the Hungarian National Archives could become extremely important in the near future, thanks to the start of the exploration of the codices written by Esztergom priests and monks in the 12th and 13th centuries, discovered by Hungarian researchers recently. 

The location and timing are both advantageous, the exhibition is expected to attract the attention of the public at the Advent market in the square in front of the Institute. The opening ceremony was attended by leading diplomats from the participating countries, including Spain, Portugal, Austria, Romania and Slovenia, as well as professional guests and people interested in historical documents. The opening was interviewed by Z1 television.

Written by: Zoltán Szatucsek, National Archives of Hungary

European discoveries: from the new world to new technologies

Placed in an emblematic space in the historical centre of the city of Porto, in the Centro Português de Fotografia, the exhibition European Discoveries: from the new world to new technologies is on its second edition, from November 19 to 22 January 2023, after its opening to the public at the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo in 2021, in Lisbon.

Exhibition opening 19-11-2022.

As the documents in this exhibition so clearly show, European discoveries were carried out in several contexts, throughout history and involving people from different countries and regions.

The diversity of documentary typologies shown in the exhibition confirms the variety of themes and contexts in which the desire to discover was evident: letters, books, photographs, X-ray images, drawings, maps and reports, among others, dating from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century.

Exhibition opening 19-11-2022.

Preserving the memory of discoveries and inventions, scientific progress and technological advances is one of the features of the European identity and heritage.

This transmedia exhibition was displaced to the northern region of the country in order to bring the public closer to this topic, besides spreading the assumptions of the European Digital Treasures project.

Centro Português de Fotografia, Porto.

The Centro Português de Fotografia, such as the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, is part of the Directorate-General of Books, Archives and Libraries. It is housed in a building that served as a prison called “Cadeia do Tribunal da Relação”  in the 16th century (from 1501 to 1600), being located in the heart of  Porto’s Historic Centre, next to the Torre dos Clérigos, an equally emblematic monument of  the city.

Exhibition’s Catalogue here.

Written by General Directorate of Books, Archives and Libraries, Portugal.

Third exhibition opening at the National Archives of Malta in Rabat

National Archives Collection donation and Exhibition opening 18-08-22

The third of a series of three exhibitions developed within the framework of the European project European Digital Treasures is going on in Malta!

One may visit the exhibition ‘European Discoveries: From the New World to New Discoveries’ at the head office of the National Archives of Malta in Rabat. The narratives displayed make use of different technological tools that allow one to get to know our past through multiple channels.

National Archives Collection donation and Exhibition opening 18-08-22

45 documents from 25 archives from 8 countries tell micro-stories that shaped Europe, including 12 documents about medical developments, 15 documents related to industry and energy and 15 other documents deal with navigation and transport. 

We hope that these innovative products will allow visitors to experiment and play, to learn and share, as well as to feel moved by our shared past!

Learn more about the exhibitions here and check various exhibition material, like catalogues and games here.

Written by Leonard Callus, National Archives of Malta.

Exhibition Opening at the Museum am Dom in St. Pölten, Austria

Opening ceremony at the summer refectory with Diocesan Bishop Alois Schwarz © Tatjana Hölzl.

On September 2nd, 2022, the opening of the third part of the exhibition series of the EU project European Digital Treasures took place at the Museum am Dom in St. Pölten, Austria. After the questioning of the “becoming of Europe” in the first part and the thematic complex of migration, exile and solidarity in the second part, the third part is now dedicated to the broad field of “European discoveries and inventions”.

The ceremonial opening, which this time took place in the very well-filled summer refectory, was first introduced by the museum director Barbara Taubinger with her welcoming speech, followed by the head of the school district Benedikt Michal and the member of the state parliament Martin Michalitsch, who formulated his thoughts on the topic on behalf of the head of the state government. As a crowning finale, the exhibition was ceremoniously opened by Diocesan Bishop Alois Schwarz and the guests had the opportunity to view the exhibition in the museum premises.

Opening © Tatjana Hölzl.

Anabela Ribeiro and Olinda Cardoso, Portuguese partners of the Digital Treasures project were present at the opening and demonstrated the international friendships created within the project! Thanks for being there!

The show will be on display for two months until the end of October and uses primary sources from eight major European archives to convey the various aspects of the topic. The very broad field has been divided into the content areas of “Medicine”, “Energy and Industry” and “Transportation and Navigation” which can also be explored within the framework of guided tours.

All the details about the exhibition in St. Pölten can be found here:!

Find information about the backround of the exhibition here and additional material, like catalogues & games, created especially for the exhibitions here.

EDT partners from Portugal Anabela Ribeiro & Olinda Cardoso with the director of the museum, Barbara Taubinger (l.) and Karl Heinz and Tatjana Hölzl (r.), ICARUS © Daniel Jeller.

Written by Karl Heinz, International Centre for Archival Research.

Exhibition Opening in Budapest

European Digital Treasures – The Construction of Europe – exhibition opening at Várkert Bazár

The opening of the unique transmedia exhibition, which presents the history of Europe through unique documents from six European countries using digital tools, attracted many visitors! The opening of the exhibition “The Construction of Europe – History, Memory and the Myth of Europeanness” took place on 30th of August 2022 at Várkert Bazár.

First glance © Zsuzsanna Lantos.

In his opening speech, Gábor Kőrösi, Director of Communications and Marketing of Várkapitányság Zrt., expressed his delight that the renovated Várkert Bazár, which was part of the National Hauszmann Program, boasts an ever-growing number of visitors and an increasing number of returning exhibitors. Among these partners is the National Archives of Hungary, which has also chosen the imposing Buda Castle as the venue for its third exhibition.

Zoltán Szatucsek © Zsuzsanna Lantos.

Zoltán Szatucsek, Director of the Department of IT and Innovation of the National Archives of Hungary, said in his welcome speech that the exhibition presented 54 documents in different formats: originals, copies, installations, as part of the digital catalogue or through games. The 54 documents – 54 coloured tiles from the past, which came together to form breathtaking, colourful, kaleidoscopic shapes for the visitors of the exhibition, the Director added.

Introducing the exhibition, Senior Archivist Dr György Majtényi, curator of the exhibition, pointed out that the main aim was to create a horizon through the unique documents of six European nations, from which our history can be seen as a common history for all Europeans. The curator also explained that the documents in the exhibition have been collected by archivists from European countries, and arranged side by side according to four possible perspectives – the spirit of Europe, its diversity, European Christianity and the legacy of the Enlightenment. The selected documents reflect this and, through it, the history of Europe, and offer visitors to the opportunity to form their own view of the history of Europe and of Europeanness.

The exhibition will be open from 1st of September to 30th of October 2022 at Várkert Bazár, every week from Thursday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.

Learn more about the exhibitions and check out the material especially created for the exhibitions!


Written by Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár.

‘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.


“Plan of a machine to raise fresh water from the river to the Alcázar of Toledo and supply the city” is one of the Spanish contributions to the third transmedia exhibition of the Project European Digital Treasures, “European Discoveries – From the New World to New Technologies”, held by the General Archive of the Indies (Seville, Spain) from April 29th 2022 to July 29th 2022.

Water management has a long tradition in Spain. With long, hot, dry summers, and areas where water is scarce, an efficient and rational use of water has always been a serious issue for the various peoples that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula. As a result, complex irrigation schemes and sophisticated water management machines were installed in many parts of the Peninsula throughout the centuries.

This document shows the design of a machine to raise water from the river Tagus (Tajo in Spanish) to the Alcázar of Toledo to supply the city with fresh water. It was designed by Giovanni Turriano (circa 1505-1585), known in Spain as Juanelo Turriano, an engineer and technical advisor to King Charles I.

The drawing was made in 1561, but construction of the invention seems to have been delayed until around 1565. The first engine he built was a success; it was working at full capacity by 1568. Despite some legal disputes, Turriano was commissioned to build a second one, which went into operation in 1581. Both mechanisms, known as Artificio de Juanelo, were considered engineering wonders at the time, and efficiently solved most of Toledo’s water problems.

The machines were in operation until 1639. By then, lack of maintenance and thefts rendered them inoperative. They were disassembled and abandoned.

Having in mind this 16th century invention, the Spanish designer Ángel Merlo created this glass bottle: a merchandising product for domestic or sport use for bringing water or drink easily.

Glass bottle created by Spanish designer Ángel Merlo.

You can find more info about the archival document and the product here:

“Diseño de un ingenio para subir agua del rio Tajo al Alcázar de Toledo y proveer a la ciudad”
General Archive of Simancas

Check out a 3D recreation of the Artificio de Juanelo:

Written by Spanish State Archives

The Pro-Finlandia Petition (1899)

The exhibition currently on display at the “Museum am Dom” in St. Pölten on the theme of “The Making of Europe – History, Memory and Myth of a 1000-Year Europeanism“, which was developed as part of the “Digital Treasures” project funded by the European Commission, is an excellent example of the timelessness of the subject. Each of the documents, carefully selected by the archives involved in the conception, symbolizes a particular aspect of European identity, the exact definition of which is still being struggled over today. 

One of these documents will be presented here as an example. It is a source document that has gone down in history as the “Pro Finlandia Petition”. It takes the viewer to the time of the struggle of the people of Finland for their independence and self-determination at the turn of the 19th century. Finland had been incorporated into the Russian Tsarist Empire since 1809 as a Grand Duchy with a certain degree of internal autonomy. However, it was precisely this autonomy that was opposed to the Russification policy embodied by Tsar Nicholas II in the late 19th century and was to be eliminated by a corresponding imperial manifesto.

Since the petitions and activities on the part of the Finnish population to at least leave the status quo did not find a hearing at the tsar’s court, an unprecedented Europe-wide initiative in the interest of Finnish emancipation was launched in 1899. In just three months, no fewer than 1064 signatures were collected from prominent public figures in the fields of science and art in twelve countries, demanding the inviolability of Finnish autonomy. Among the signatories were prominent names such as Florence Nightingale, Émile Zola, Anatole France, Herbert Spencer, Theodor Mommsen, Emilio Brusa, Vito Volterra, Edvard Grieg, Henrik Ibsen or Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, who were regarded as distinguished and respected opinion leaders both in their countries and on an international level.

© National Archives of Finland.

Particularly noteworthy is the highly individual and in many cases splendidly executed cover pages of the petition in the individual states, which not least also represent the cultural diversity of Europe. In the end, the petition was not handed over because the tsar refused to accept it. Nevertheless, the “Pro Finlandia Petition” is and remains a significant testimony to lived solidarity with the legitimate interests of smaller ethnic and national groups threatened by autocratic and authoritarian systems of rule. Even then, it took courage and idealism to stand up to a major European power of the time, all the more so because the petition was a private initiative. These qualities are still indispensable prerequisites today in order to be able to stand up against state-directed falsification of history and authoritarian, inhuman practices, which are still part of the current reality in Europe. 

The example presented here shows that unremitting efforts can eventually be crowned with success, for strengthened by the awareness of European solidarity, the Finnish National Assembly adopted a Declaration of Independence in 1917, thus making the country a sovereign nation-state.

Written by Karl Heinz, International Centre for Archival Research

Opening of the exhibition “European Discoveries: From the New World to New Technologies” in Norway

The third of the three transmedia exhibitions included in the European Digital Treasures project, European Discoveries: From the New World to New Technologies, was successfully opened at the National Archives of Norway – Regional State Archives in Stavanger at the House of Archives on the 31st of May, 2022.

Exhibition Opening. © Ine Fintland.

The exhibition is open to the public until the beginning of September. It analyses the scientific and technological discoveries that have been vital engines for the material progress and wealth of Europe, through the documentary treasures kept by the European archives.

This exhibition tries to show that discoveries and inventions lie at the heart of Europe’s cultural heritage. Archives in Europe abound with documents and materials that witness the constant desire to explore and to discover, and these documents tell many different stories.
There are three pillars of this exhibition: Medicine, energy and industry, and transport and navigation. They are an attempt to provide a glimpse of the multifarious variety of stories, events and personalities involved in discoveries of many different types, during the long history of Europe. It is thus an exhibition not only about the discoveries themselves, but also about their archival memory, recording one of Europe’s most distinctive cultural traits.

In addition to the documents, the exhibition is completed with transmedia tools to bring its content closer through experimentation and play. Link to the catalogue– have a look!

Written by Ole Gausdal, director in charge of international relations
at the National Archives of Norway.