A short history of DAI publications

Three publications, all in Italian, mark the beginning of DAI's publishing activities: Annali dell'Instituto di Corrispondenza Archeologica, Bullettino degli Annali dell'Instituto die Corrispondenza Archeologica and Monumenti inediti. All started publication as early as 1829, the year the German Archaeological Institute was founded. The approach of these three serials was groundbreaking and would shape the institute's publication strategy for years to come. While Monumenti presented previously unpublished works of art, architecture, etc. in rich illustrations, generous format, and high-quality print, the Annali were designed as a journal very similar to modern publication series. 

It contained detailed reports on excavation progress and results, presented new findings and reviewed museum pieces and the works published visually in Monumenti. The Bulletino, which was published as fascicles in quick succession, not only reported on the institute's activities but also contained updates on new findings.

In the period before the institute was reorganized as a Reich Institute (1874), it started publishing monographs and especially corpora aiming  to present the academic world with comprehensive overviews of individual art forms. These included Etruskischer Spiegel (Etruscan mirror) and the sarcophagus corpus (Sarkophag-Corpus), which evolved into the sarcophagus studies (Sarkophag-Studien) still continued today.

The time of transformation into a Reich Institute coincided with the beginning of the large-scale excavations, including those at Pergamum and Olympia. The extensive research activities led to the initiation of our major excavation series. These publications present the results of our excavations and field works. In the case of the Pergamum monuments, the series continues to this day. 

With the establishment of our international departments (starting with Athens in 1874) and commissions (starting with the Romano-Germanic Commission in 1902) the portfolio of institute journals grew considerably. The departments and commissions began issuing their own publications, including Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung (Notes of the German Archaeological Institute, Athens Department, 1876) and Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo (Notes of the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo Department, 1930). The 1880s marked a watershed that affected even the oldest institute publications. The Annali and the Bulletino were transformed into the Jahrbuch des Kaiserlich Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (Yearbook of the Imperial German Archaeological Institute, now JdI) and the Mitteilungen des Kaiserlich Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung (Notes of the German Archaeological Institute, Roman Department, now RM).

The 20th century saw the establishment of numerous new DAI offices, departments, and commissions, which in turn founded new publications. Following the consolidation of our Notes from Baghdad and Notes from Damascus in the Zeitschrift für Orient-Archäologie (Journal for Oriental Archaeology/ZOrA), the AI now publishes 14 journals, some of which look back on more than 120 continuous years of publication.

The range of topics of our publication series has also evolved. In addition to the abovementioned corpora and excavation series, we established publications dedicated to specific topics and overarching research questions. These include our Studien aus den Forschungsclustern des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (Studies from the Research Clusters of the German Archaeological Institute) as well as the Sarkophag-Studien (Sarcophagus Studies) that evolved from the Sarkophag-Corpus (Sarcophagus Corpus).

With roughly 100 serial publications published since its foundation, many of them still continuing, the DAI offers one of the largest platforms for archaeological research in the world.

Our magazine Archäologie Weltweit (Archaeology Worldwide) has been appearing biannually since 2013, with each issue dedicated to a specific topic complex. The magazine, which is published in German and English, contains reports on DAI activities around the world and presents our research results to a wider public.

In addition to the approach and content of our journals and other publications, the production and distribution have also evolved over the years. DAI now uses a wide range of distribution options. Our Research E-Papers form the basis for a genuine digital publication format that allows us to make our research results promptly available to the scientific community.