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The Open Research Library DRAWING WITH OPTICAL INSTRUMENTS - DEVICES AND CONCEPTS OF VISUALITY AND REPRESENTATION has been a cooperation project of the Art History Department of the Freie Universität Berlin, the Library and the IT-Group of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science - MPIWG Berlin, and the ECHO Initiative (European Cultural Heritage Online - Open Access Infrastructure for a Future Web of Culture and Science).

The Open Research Library provides, without pretension for completeness, a rich database of texts and images from the 15th century until today. It enables to compare theories and practices of the usages of optical instruments for the sake of depiction in the Arts and Sciences.

DRAWING WITH OPTICAL INSTRUMENTS is organised in three fully cross-linked sections allowing direct consultation and comparison through the opening of separate windows:

electronic library:

Displays a collection of original sources related to the single drawing devices, their use and discussion in different fields of application.


Allows an overview of the textual sources and can be fully searched by authorĀ“s name, title, and year.

image collection:

Gathers pictures of the optical drawing devices themselves as well as of the visual products resulting from their use in different fields of application. It can be fully searched by authorĀ“s name, title, year, and medium / technique.