Andras Sipos: The Cadastral Heritage of the Habsburg Empire
Necessity and Possibilities of „virtual Reunification“ of a divided and scattered Source Material
Cadastral Maps are 1) high-scale maps made for land registry (1:1500 – 1:5000); 2) based on cadastral survey in the field and measurement of land; 3) representing the individual parcels, the dividing lines between them and their identifying numbers. They illustrate the land use and the most important natural and built objects in the terrain.
They provide detailed and authentic information on the earlier state of the natural and built environment and on changes in land use.They provide information on land ownership at parcel level.
Cadastral survey and mapping in 18th – 19th century Europe was a basic tool of emergence and functioning of modern state and capitalist market economy. Cadastral maps and records are basic tools of historical research as well. Their potential for practical usage is also high. Cadastral survey was carried out from 1817 onwards by standardized procedure and technical requirements, standard scale (1:2880, 1440) in the whole Habsburg Monarchy. We can speak about a „supranational” cadastral system which produced the same types of maps and records throughout the Empire. These maps and records are preserved nowadays in archival institutions of 12 successor states.
Although this is common heritage, it is divided and scattered. Recurrent displacements because of changing state borders, administrative and archival structures and tumultuous events of the history of this region lead to the consequence, that materials closely related in their provenance and pertinence are divided between different states. They are subject to various archival practices with regards to methods of processing, description and access. Different level of description and publication leads to lack of overview overview the whole domain
Digitization, on-line publication and the combination of these with new technologies of GIS-based application and automatic interpretation is a possible and feasible way of virtual “reunification” of what have been divided. The paper will give an overview of the efforts and achievements of the Hungarian archival community in this field with some international comparison and introduce the MAPIRE project (www.mapire.eu) as a promising starting point of cooperation at international level.