The Digitization of the Documentary Sources and New Technologies in the Gallery of Matica Srpska

Tijana Palkovljević, Daniela Korolija Crkvenjakov, Snežana Mišić, Aljoša Petojević, Božana Grbić

The Gallery of Matica srpska is one of the oldest museums in Serbia and an institution of national importance, with a collection of nearly 9.000 works of national fine art, dated from the 16th to the 21st century, as well as a rich history of exhibitions, research and conservation activities. Decades of professional work on study, protection and presentation of Serbian national art resulted in vast amount of documentation, not only of the art objects from the Gallery’s collection, but also on many other works of art that have been studied, preserved and exhibited in numerous joint projects in cooperation with other museums, churches and private owners. This documentary material is an invaluable resource for the national history of art and culture, consisting of several units: inventory books; photo-archive; different documents about Gallery’s exhibitions; conservation archive; archive of documents related to important artists and projects created in years of art- historical research, as well as specialized library with bibliographical sources. The material formats in which these documents exist are different: paper and electronic documents, manuscripts, machine-typed documents, photocopies, photo negatives and positives of different size and type, digital photographs of different quality, Word documents and in smaller amount Excel documents and printed material. The work on the creation of the database in the Gallery of Matica srpska, initiated by the development of a unique Museum Information System of Serbia (MISS), started in 2010. In the next two and a half years, the idea for the documentation system of the Gallery was developed, the basic hardware and software were acquired, and the checking and preparation of documents and filling of the base with data were organized. This paper presents the concept, the methodology and the results achieved so far: database of artworks which is in everyday use, as well as database segments in preparation.