Discovering, Contextualising and Preserving Cultural Heritage
The Academies Programme is there to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible in and highlight its relevance to the present, and to preserve it for the future. It is currently the most comprehensive humanities research programme in Germany. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, the Programme supports long-term basic research projects, predominantly in the humanities but also in the social sciences. The programme and its research projects are executed by the eight academies under the umbrella of the Union as well as by Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences.
Within the Academies Programme coordinated by the Union, a total of over 900 researchers and administrative staff are currently working on 137 different projects across 194 locations (as of 2020).
Evaluations are carried out on a regular basis by external academics from the international scientific community in order to ensure the high quality of the dictionaries, encyclopaedias and editions compiled in the fields of theology, philosophy, history, literature and linguistics, art history and archaeology, inscription scholarship and onomastics, as well as musicology and basic research in the social and cultural sciences. The structure of the research units in the academies and the supervising commissions enable such long-term and large-scale research projects to be carried out to a high standard over long periods of time without being restricted by the availability of individuals or the limited capacities of individual institutions.
The Academies Programme has been evaluated favourably by the German Science Council, which stated that the projects carried out within the Academies Programme are frequently – in some cases even worldwide – hubs of research on certain research topics, that the research carried out is remarkable both in terms of quantity and quality, and that the paramount merit of the Academies Programme continues to lie in the central contribution that its research results make to the empirical foundations of subjects such as philosophy, history, theology, and philology.