July 24, 2014

Reference Database: Getty Research Institute Launches Database of German Art Sales, 1930–1945

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From the Getty Research Institute:

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) announced today the addition of approximately 250,000 art sale records from more than 2,000 German auction catalogs dating from 1930–1945 to its free online art historical research resources. These art sale records are part of the Getty Provenance Index® databases, which currently contain close to 1.5 million records taken from source material such as archival inventories, auction catalogs, and dealer stock books.

The newly digitized sales catalogs were published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and German-occupied territories between 1930 and 1945. They include art objects looted and sold under the cultural policy of the Nationalist Socialist regime.

The catalogs—some of which include hand-written annotations about sale prices and buyers’ names—are important for establishing the history of ownership for individual objects and are also rich primary sources for historians of Western art.

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Over the course of two years, editors at the Getty Research Institute refined and standardized the data, correcting OCR errors and incorporating information from other sources. These editors will continue to work on this material, adding records for wartime catalogs held in American libraries and transcribing handwritten annotations.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.