Digitization of Bamberg University's Dendrochronological Archive

The dendrochronological laboratory of the University of Bamberg is among the leading institutions in Germany. It determines species of wood in close cooperation with the state offices for monument protection in Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria; additionally, we are in contact with the Rhenian and Westphalian state offices as well as with the state office for monument protection in Bremen. Leading up to the deadline on December 1, 2016, 7,200 objects with about 65,000 samples were examined. This equals about 80 percent of the objects that were dendrochronologically examined in these states between 1993 and 2016. Therefore, the database of the University of Bamberg is one of the largest data pools of its kind in Germany. 

In contrast to private laboratories, the samples were systematically archived. Since 2010, the samples have been scanned in high resolution and can be evaluated as primary documents by third parties. However, the older samples were entered in a DOS database which corresponded to the state of development then. However, this database cannot process image data or GIS information, and it is not web-enabled. Therefore, it is strongly desirable to convert the database into a SQL database. 

Goals of the digitization project: 

  • creation of high resolution scans of all samples archived before 2010
  • updating of the DOS database (currently operated on Windows 7) to Windows 10
  • addition of necessary information such as geographic coordinates etc. 
  • digitization of all documents supplemental to the samples, e.g. plans, image documentation etc.
  • connection of a GIS-based evaluation structure to the dendrochronological database
  • programming of interfaces with limited access rights for the dendrochronological laboratories of associated freelancers who store their data centrally in the Bamberg University archive 
  • connection to the Bayern Viewer and definition of access rights to the database for the state offices, in order to support them in judicial decisions regarding the protection of monuments as well as in creating inventories and researching monuments


Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Holzwirt Thomas Eißing