News on “Heraldica Nova” and the “Coats of Arms in Practice” Project

Lately it has become a little quieter on Heraldica Nova. This was partly due to the effects of the Corona pandemic, which has not left us unaffected as well, but above all to the relocation of the research project “Die Performanz der Wappen” from Münster to Berlin to the Humboldt University, where Torsten Hiltmann was appointed to the Chair of Digital History.

As some time has passed since the last updates on the completion and continuation of this project (you can read about it here and here), we are very pleased to finally be able to inform you that, following this successful transfer, the project will now be continued in its second funding phase. This is dedicated to the process of differentiation of heraldic communication in the Middle Ages and investigates the formal development of coats of arms in the Middle Ages and early modern times and their social and cultural driving forces. It will be based on new digital methods from computer science, some of which have already been presented on this blog. Through the affiliation to the Chair of Digital History, the project has finally been given the stable environment that has been missing for a long time, so that the many ideas and projects can finally be realised in a sustainable way. To properly mark this new beginning, we have given Heraldica Nova a small visual makeover.

We are very pleased to welcome with Philipp Schneider and Melanie Althage two new members of staff to the project. Philipp Schneider will work on a large part of the ontology that has to be written in the project “Coats of Arms in Practice” in order to be able to analyse heraldic data from different provenances. On the basis of this work, he will pursue his own research project dealing with social rise and its expression in and implications for heraldic communication in late medieval Europe.

Melanie Althage, for her part, will devote some of her time to the project’s public outreach and, more precisely, to our joint academic blog “Heraldica Nova”. This means that with the new phase of the research project, the blog “Heraldica Nova” will be more institutionalised and will have a permanent editor who will take care of its daily business and ensure the blog’s responsiveness. This was all made possible by the generous support of the VolkswagenFoundation, to whom we would like to express our sincere thanks at this point.

We are also working on extending our approach to digital heraldry to include other technologies such as machine learning for the recognition of heraldic representations in medieval manuscripts and pictures or the automatic analysis of texts by Natural Language Processing (NLP). More information will follow shortly.

For now, our main concern is to initiate a new phase in the development of Heraldica Nova, to which we invite you all to contribute with new posts on the development and cultural history of coats of arms and their use in the Middle Ages and early modern times.

The regular blog posts, project presentations, comments and discussions show again and again how valuable this medium is for the community, its research and communication about heraldry. As in the past, the blog will be open for your important contributions. Both regular and new readers are equally welcome to submit contributions themselves. Your research is vital for the productive exchange and sharing of knowledge about heraldry from the perspective of cultural history!

If you would like to present your research projects or exciting finds as well as interesting events and publications related to heraldry and heraldic communication in the Middle Ages and early modern times, please feel free to contact us at or leave a message in the comment field below.


Cite this blog post
Heraldica Nova (2020, October 26). News on “Heraldica Nova” and the “Coats of Arms in Practice” Project. Heraldica Nova. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from

Heraldica Nova

This is the account of the Heraldica Nova editorial team.

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