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Celebrating a Century of Visual Wonders.

Historical Online Archive

coordinator: Cora Braun

What‘s the idea?
Creating a detailed interactive timeline / archive which presents the history of the
planetarium from multiple perspectives to preserve the history in a contemporary
way, serving the general public and scientists as a solid source of information.
Some of these perspectives may be:
·Technology and technological change (analog to digital)
·Content aspects
·Influences from related media (technologies)
·Architectural designs
·Emphasis on different regions or continents

What are the target groups?
·general public interested in planetariums and their history
·professionals from the planetarium community
·scientific community (including scientists, e.g. history, media &
communication science, art and other disciplines, & students)

What will this look like?
Different important historical events and Planetarium-related terms & ideas may
be gathered and summarized in short, lexicon-styled entries. Entries should meet
scientific standards to be citable. Each entry is tagged with multiple hashtags.
Those might be categories like Technology, Architecture, Content, visual
language, related media and also (if available) a date or timeframe. These
hashtags can be used to search systematically for specific entries of interest. The
search results can be presented in a timeline-based style or in an alphabetic
sequence like in encyclopedias.

How does this idea support the Centennial activities?
As we like to highlight the planetarium as a modern and versatile institution
during the festivities, it makes sense to take a look back and see where we‘ve
come from. Especially the history of the planetarium is strongly driven by new
technologies and ideas from other immersive media. But the newer the
technology, the less documentation on these systems and ideas can be found.
Especially these more recent parts of the history shape the look and feel of today‘s planetariums. By highlighting relevant historic events we can emphasize the
core message of the centennial.

Why should this meet scientific standards?
Meeting scientific standards is no rocket science but would have a huge impact
for scientific work related to planetariums. Some parts of history are already covered well but especially the more recent history needs a boost in
documentation. Above the recent history had the biggest influence on what
planetariums are today – modern and definitely not outdated! By providing a
comprehensive summary on different aspects of history we can support research
in planetarium-related contexts, which everyone of the community can benefit
from. One might discuss details on the scientific standards later, but all entries
should at least provide a headline, the authors name, the release date and a list
of used references. A digital object identifier (DOI) and further readings are
worthwhile for scientific contexts.

The goal is to create a low-threshold, participatory community science-project, where
everyone can contribute his*her knowledge of a specific topic. Once a solid base
is provided, specific topics and events can be added.

The Project is currently under construction. If you‘re interested or like to get
involved in the detailed planning, contact us at GDP or at the IPS History of the
Planetrium Working Group (HotPWG).

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