Digital Edition of Gumpenhuber's Theatre Chronicle (1758–1763)

A-Wn, Mus.Hs.34580b, f. 40

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Ingeborg Zechner


Project members

Selina Galka

Christina Dittmann

Véronique Braquet

Jakob Leitner


For further information about on-going project activities please visit (German blog) or (English blog)

Grant-DOI: 10.55776/P36729

Collaboration Partners

University of Graz, Institute "Centre for Information Modelling

Georg Vogeler


Austrian National Library

Max Kaiser


Austrian Academy of Sciences

Projects "' and "VieCPro'


Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department Public Sector Transformation

Beat Estermann


State and University Library Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky

Mirijam Beier

The agencies of institutions and all kinds of theatre ‘personnel’ were important in shaping the eigteenth-century European theatrical landscape. Networks and representational strategies of the Viennese court, one of the centers of European sociocultural life, incorporated these agencies that took shape in the court’s various theatrical institutions. The theatrical agency of the Viennese court between 1758 and 1763 is documented by Philipp Gumpenhuber’s chronicle, an unique and exceptional source for European cultural life in the eighteenth century. Gumpenhuber was associated with Viennese theatrical life as dancer, choreographer and ballet master. His manuscript chronicle offers insights into the theatrical, social, and political court life. Until recently, musicological research about eighteenth-century theatres focused strongly on the musical work as a text rather than on the ‘performance’ shaped by ‘agents’ and sociocultural surroundings. The musicological ‘performative turn’, which draws on the theoretical concepts of cultural studies, changed the perception in the field of music history and gives room for interdisciplinary ventures.


The project pursues three main goals:

1.) It provides a scholarly digital edition (GuDiE) of Gumpenhuber’s theatre chronicles. GuDiE gathers the separated volumes of the preserved sources. The resulting digital edition will make one of the most significant sources of Viennese theatrical life in the second half of the 18th century broadly, openly and on a long-term basis accessible via a virtual platform. 

2.) GuDiE creates curated and linked data for the interdisciplinary research community and existing prosopographical digital projects (i.e. VieCPro).

3.) GuDiE contributes a solid contextualization via a systematic scientific examination of the source. The edition explores the complex interactions between sociocultural, political, representational and economic factors within eighteenth century theatre business.


Methodologically founded on contextualization via source criticism, GuDiE incorporates XML encoding on the basis of the TEI standards and embeds current theories from the field of cultural studies. GuDiE reflects the ‘performative turn’ as well as cultural theories of agency and institutional networks in the form of a scholarly digital edition via the modelling of ‘events’. GuDiE is conceived as an ‘assertive edition’ by combining XML encoding with graph data. It uses technologies of the semantic web to ensure on the long-term technical connectivity with other related research data.


GuDiE will develop data models to ensure the interoperability of the event data, but also to depict the complex relations of performances, works, persons and their roles and places described in the theatre chronicles. In addition, visualization techniques that go beyond simple data queries, generate new knowledge and show specific patterns will be used. The tool set of the Digital Humanities extends the scope of a traditional historical methodology massively and will result in new insights on the topic that can be used also in a wide interdisciplinary context. The basic research accomplished in the GuDiE sets the fundament for further scientific projects on European cultural history.