More than a side note?
In the Duke August Library in Wolfenbüttel, the theologian and church historian Prof. Ulrich Bubenheimer is researching the history of the Reformation. In the process, he also looked through a collection volume containing several chronicles. This volume is indexed in the library database with only a few descriptive data. Marginal notes that occur in various parts of the book are not evaluated in any detail. Prof. Bubenheimer was surprised when during his research on the Reformation he came across annotations that originate from the pen of Martin Luther. The manuscript was quickly analyzed and provided insights into topics that Luther dealt with during his time in Erfurt. After evaluating the handwritten marginal notes, the chronicle volume was described with the corresponding metadata and can thus be found by "Luther researchers" from now on. In the meantime, the entire book has been digitized and can be viewed online, enabling further evaluations.
Finding the marginal notes from Luther's pen shows how important it is to deposit meaningful and evaluable metadata in databases. Only in this way can the potential of research data and objects be made visible and tapped into. The digitization of analog materials also offers the opportunity to reach a larger audience and to network research results.