Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Our Personal heritage magazine

Today we present you the magazine we did with the stories our students wrote about personal items they are fond of...

Friday, 6 September 2019

How it is to be a host

Using Google forms we did inquiries about the guest and hosting expierience of our students and host families. These are the most interesting answers to one of the questions:

 What did you like about hosting a student from another country? Did you learn anything?

  • Yes, I learn a little about German culture.
  • It was a different experience. I learn about their culture.
  • Yes, I learn things for another country.
  • I think it was a nice experience and we had the chance to get to know other cultures. I learn a lot from another cultures.
  • I enjoyed the fact that she was really nice, she wasn't a shy person so we were always talking about different topics. Yes, I learned some of the Lithuanian culture and the way they behave socially.
  • What I liked the most was the fact that they were really nice, and that they were some really good companions. Yes, I learned a lot about both countries.
  • I liked to host a student from another country, because it was really good to interact with another culture. The student was adorable and I had a lot of fun.
  • More confidance in speaking.
  • Practicing my German language.
  • Yes, i did. I learned to communicate with different cultures and religions 
  • Like that he was funny.
  • I learned some words in German.
  • I learn more English.
  • He was funny.
  • Liked spending time with him, learned some Spanish words. 
  • I found a new friend, she learned about our life, I learned about hers. I got knew her family, school, food, traditions just talking with her. I like that she tought me some words in German.
  • She was very cute, funny. And the conversations with her were very interesting.
  • I met new people, realized that I should be more responsible. I learnt some new English words in that week.
  • I learnt more about their culture also I met her friends from Portugal. I saw places which I haven't seen before.

Documents in danger - a visit to a paper restoration expert

Pests, water and fire are the greatest dangers to historical documents. It doesn't always have to be as spectacular as it was in 2009, when the city archive of Cologne sank into a neighbouring excavation and two people were killed. Large parts of the historical documents sank into the mud and had to be recovered and cleaned laboriously. Surprisingly, some documents survived even months in damp mud.

The restoration workshop of the Frankfurt City Archive is not quite as dramatic. Mould and water damage, along with pests (for example bookworms), are among the main problems that are being fought there. 

If paper becomes damp, mould is not far away. Mould decomposes the paper and makes it brittle. One can see very well from this document that the lower edge had become damp. It shows the typical darker discoloration that occurs with mould. Parts of the page are already broken off. Such a document can no longer be used without further damage. In addition, the spores are a health hazard for the users. In the restoration workshop such documents are cleaned and the paper is stabilized again by additional layers. However, this procedure is very costly and is therefore only used for particularly important documents.

Another serious problem is acidic paper. With the change of paper production and the use of alum instead of glue from bone or skin. Both substances prevent ink from leaking. Alum-containing papers release acids in the aging process, which corrode the cellulose fibres of the paper. It disintegrates. Even the acids contained in the inks can lead to decomposition (ink corrosion). The raw material used in paper production is also decisive - in the past, paper was made with alkaline solutions from rags and was therefore more durable. Paper made from wood was treated with acidic solutions to remove the yellowing substance lignin. Especially such papers are affected by acid corrosion. The neutralization and removal of the acids is complex. In addition, the paper must then be reinforced with new fibres (fraying).

Thanks to the institute for town history we had the chance to visit this workshop. Here is a link to a short film about this visit:
A visit to the restoration workshop in Frankfurt

The German National Library in Frankfurt

A place of written heritage

Today the German National Library has two locations, Leipzig and Frankfurt. Founded in Leipzig in 1913, Frankfurt was chosen as a replacement location after the division of Germany in the post-war period. Since 1945 every printed work published in Germany has been collected there - from magazines to scientific books. Even advertising brochures and club magazines are kept. Publishers must hand in two copies of each printed work - one for Frankfurt and one for Leipzig. Every day, about 2000 new writings arrive at the library. Today there are 34 million objects on the shelves - in
the chronological order and sorted by size, so that more fits into the 30000 m2 of storage space. The first book from 1945 is “Meine Hunde im Nordland” von Egerton Young about a journey with a dog slide through the north of Canada. This is not one of the works that are in demand on a regular basis. Only 5% of the works are actually brought into the reading rooms, because nobody can borrow the books. The task of the 634 employees is to collect, document and make available the collection – and, in principle, to preserve the written heritage for the future. In addition, there is a special collection of literature about Germany (including that from other countries), translations of German works into other languages, and the Exile Archive, which collects the estates and literature of the people who had to flee Germany between 1933 and 1945.

The institute of town history - the City Archive of Frankfurt

Main entrance of the Institute of town history in Frankfurt. 
Picture: A.Murmann CC-BY-SA 4.0
The archive of the city of Frankfurt am Main is one of the largest municipal archives in Germany. Under the name Institute for City History, it collects all historically and legally significant documents of Frankfurt city history. This includes files from city authorities, maps and plans, court files and newspapers. The collection of historical photos and films is particularly in demand among users. The archive has existed since 1436 and is now housed in the rooms of the former Carmelite monastery in Frankfurt's old town. In addition to the underground magazines at the main location, there is also a branch office where the restoration workshop is located. The most important document of the archive is the Frankfurt copy of the "Golden Bull", the law, which regulates the election of the German kings. This document from 1356 has been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage in 2013. Its name refers to the golden seal attached to it.

Our students had the chance to visit the archive with three different groups and also to see the restoration workshop two times. Thanks a lot to the people of the institute.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Casa Gralla

Wikipedia, public domain

In this presentation Spanish students explore the sad story about Casa Gralla, a reinassance palace demolished in the XIX century:

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Casa Trinxet, lost heritage

Source: Wikipedia, public domain

At this presentation, Spanish students describe Casa Trinxet, a modernist house that was destroyed to build an office building:

Palau Reial Menor

In this video some Spanish students present a research they did about the Palau Reial Menor, a disappeared palace that was in central Barcelona.

Spanish students personal Heritage


The object that you see in this photo, is my father’s collection of old coins made of gold and silver. 

It’s a  little wooden box with some of the most expensive coins from my great grandfather’s time, as i said they are made of gold and silver, is a very expensive treasure of my family and my father would be so sad if we lost it or we have to sell it.

My grandmother used some of this coins to buy some food  when my grandfather was in the Spanish civil war because almost all the food in that period of time went to the Nationalist army, for that reason is a small box, before the war it was bigger.

My father tell my that when I turn 18, he will give my this family treasure so my plans is do the same, when I have a son or daughter and he or she turns 18 i will give the coins.

My father lost my grandfather when he was very young (14 years) so it's a nice memory of him, also in my grandfather’s birthday we light some candles near the box to remind him.

If this family treasure it’s so important to my father, it should be of great importance for the other members of the family too.

It’s an old camera, that was made in the 60s. It’s made of a lot of different metals and plastic. It was lost in my house and I found it in an old bag. 

The main use is taking amazing photos with it. When my dad was a child, his parents and his brothers used to make all the photos with it. It was very easy to use and when they bought it it was the newest camera you could buy.

It’s relevant to me because it passed to my dad, who gave it to me. It’s the most iconic camera in the family.

I would like to pass it to my son or daughter, but I would also like to pass it to anyone of my cousins. I want  that this wonderful camera stay in my family for hundreds of years.


My object is my record player and vinyls.
A record player is a device for recording music. The disc is placed in a rotating turntable. When you turn it on the disc starts moving and the needle reads the surface of the vinyl and makes sound. It’s made of light materials like aluminium and plastic because it’s portable.

It's relevant to me because I love music and I had to save money so I could buy it.
Some of the discs were of my mother and my grandfathers and I treat them really
carefully because they can get scratched.

I want it to be passed over because I think that the music in general nowadays is really poor
and with low quality. I love the music of the 80s and all those classics like Bowie, Queen…
I'd pass it to my future children and I hope they pass it to their kids.

To preserve this object we have to raise awareness to the young people of these days
of the importance of good music and appreciating old devices that had been relevant in the
history. I think that music sounds better with the record player and the vinyl gives it a special

It's relevant to me because I love music and I had to save money so I could buy it. Some of the discs were of my mother and my grandfathers and I treat them really carefully because they can get scratched.

I want it to be passed over because I think that the music in general nowadays is really poor and with low quality. I love the music of the 80s and all those classics like Bowie, Queen…

I'd pass it to my future children and I hope they pass it to their kids.

To preserve this object we have to raise awareness to the young people of these days of the importance of good music and appreciating old devices that had been relevant in the history. I think that music sounds better with the record player and the vinyl gives it a special sound.

This is a toy that my dead grandmother gave to me. It’s a doll that’s made of cotton and wool (only for the hair). It has a hat on its head, the purple hair upsweeded in two plaits. It has two little  black eyebrows and two small eyes of the same color with drawed eyelash. It has the face covered by freckles, it has a small nose and a small mouth that’s not visible in this photography. This doll wears a purple dress made of cotton and in its hands it has a little bag with an aromatic plant inside that smells so good. It also has something in the feet that could be shoes. 
This doll don’t have a concret use, well, I use it to decorate my room. I have it in one shelf
with another doll and a lot of books. It’s not very big, you can hold it with one hand and it
isn’t very heavy. 
That’s important to me because is a gift of my grandmother which I miss a lot and everytime I see that doll it seems that she’s here. She gave me it when we went to a trip with all the family. We were on a ship and it was the last day so I stayed in the ship with my mother and my cousins and the rest went to an excursion to a city of France. I don’t know where because I was like 8 years old. 

My intention is not to pass it over, I want to conserve it for a long time to remember my grandmother for a long time. For preserve it for a long time I want to keep it safe and always in a place where I can see it so I always know that’s there and that’s not lost. 

Sunday, 1 September 2019

The rebreeding of the Quagga

The Quagga is an extinct zebra form. It is a subspecies of the famous plains zebra. Typical for the Quagga is, that on its body and on its legs are almost no stripes anymore, instead of it there is a yellow-brownish primary color. The Quagga lived in South Africa. Mainly in dry Prairie areas, from the Oranje-lake and the Vaal-lake up to the Great-Kei-River. It was exterminated by the humans in the end of the 19th century.
Drawing of a Quagga
Picture: public domain, Nicolas Marechal, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Quagga.jpg

Genetic investigations confirmed, that the Quagga is closely related to the plains Zebra. DNA-investigations, which were published in 1984, prompted to a rebreeding project of the Quagga out of the southern plains zebra. At a few representative of the south subspecies of the south plains Zebra you can see a reduction of the stripes what reminds to the Quagga. The “Quagga Project” tries to build a plains-zebra-breeding-line by selective breed and they should look like the Quaggas. At selective breed will two animals with equal appearance crossbred with each other so they can reproduce themselves. A few offspring of the third generation have a substantially stripes reduction.
Picture of zebras from the „Quagga project“  
Picture: CC-BY-SA 3.0, Oggmus,

The aim of the project is an animal which looks very similar like the Quagga and may be reintroduced in the former habitats of the Quagga.

Rebirth of the mammoth?

The mammoth became extinct about 4000 years ago. The size of mammoths varied from species to species, but on average they reached 2.8 to 3.7m shoulder height, corresponding to today's elephants.

Since 2008 the genetic information of mammoths has been decoded by about 70 %. Thus it is known that they are more closely related to the Asian than to the African elephants. Now scientists want to clone mammoths again, to be exact, the best known species of woolly mammoths. To do this, the genetic material of a mammoth must be implanted in an Asian elephant so that the Asian elephant cow (female elephant) can carry the mammoth clone. However, the Asian elephant is already on the red list of endangered species and is listed as very endangered. The population of the Asian elephant has declined in the last 60 - 75 years by 50%. Therefore, the recloning attempt will not be started until the Asian elephant is back off the Red List of endangered species.

However, the habitat of mammoths is no longer the same as it used to be, there are cold regions on earth but they are cold and humid, they are not used to mammoths, they are used to dry cold steppe habitat. This could lead to problems...
Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) 
in a late Pleistocene landscape in northern Spain. (painted by Mauricio Antón).
C. Sedwick (1 April 2008). "What Killed the Woolly Mammoth?". PLoS Biology 6 (4): e99. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060099 via wikipedia.org CC-BY-SA © 2008 Public Library of Science

International breeding programs run by zoos close to our hometowns:

Zoos participate in more than those programs when they are keeping the species. The mentioned programms are run by scientists working in our local zoos.


  Rhinoceros iguana
  Slender loris
  Rusty-spotted cat

Kronberg (Taunus):

A Sulawesi babirusa. Those Asian pigs 
belong to one of the EEP, 
Picture: Masteraah, CC-BY-SA 2.0 DE, Wikipedia commons

    Mesopotamian fallow deer


   White-naped pheasant pigeon
   Cherry-crowned mangabey
   Black-crested mangabey
   Iberian wolf


  Lowland nyala
  Californian sealion
  Golden conure
  Spiny hill turtle
  Blue spotted stingray
  Persian leopard


European Endangered Species Programs - EEP

One of the main activities of the EAZA, the European zoo association, are the European endangered species programs (EEP). This program tries with specific and coordinated breed to preserve animal species which are threaten to die out.

Thus they followed the example of the American zoo association AZA with its species survival plans (SSP). Private-people and other institutions like universities or national-parks can also join the EEP in individual cases beside zoos.

Each animal species is managed by a zoo in frame of the EEP. The breeding-book of the population is managed by a local coordinator who gives recommendations for mating of individually animals to keep up an optimal gene pool. This is how the inbreeding risk is avoid because the coordinator decides which animals are mated because of close relatives aren`t allowed to be brought together. He also puts together new groups and organizes the exchange between the involved breeders. These coordinators meet each other every year on the EAZA annual meeting. They give reports and get professional advices. Guidelines of keeping for the respective species belong to it. The EEP are suggested by specialists for animal groups, the Taxon Advisory groups, of the EAZA and are confirmed and watched by the EEP-committee.

The 150 EEP, which exist for now, care in their majority about mammals. Birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates are getting breed too. A fewer intensive variant of an EEP are the European Studbook Programs, the ESB, of the EAZA, in this context another 140 species get breed.

An EEP leads in the best condition to constant, healthy and selfpreserving populations. In addition animals should be reintroduced, to support and rebuild the wildlife populations. Examples are the European bison or the Przewalski horse.

A disease can completely erase a species or a race, if there are only a few exemplars of this species or the race left. Because of that the disease protection is very important by the keeping of threatened animals. A weakening of the total portfolio can lead to the impossibility of a successful breed with the remaining animals. Because of that it is important to scatter the exemplars of threatened animals widely and to pass on them to other animal parks. By synthetic insemination and modern possibility of transport the program is maintained. In certain circumstances the delivery of exemplars to private citizens is a precious help and in particular it is carried out by livestock breeds, which can be kept under usually agriculturally conditions.