The MWW Research Association uses digital aids to study selected collections at the participating institutions. Based on specific examples in these collections, MWW researchers develop general models and procedures which can be applied to other institutes and collections.

The cross-institutional research activities focus on the relevant working fields of provenance, space and economy within the context of archival, library and museum collections. External researchers are also involved in MWW projects, which guarantees the exchange of expertise outside the sphere of the MWW.

Six case studies currently address one or more of these thematic fields and provide concrete contributions to research in the selected collection units. For this purpose, we apply the tools and methods of the digital humanities, and in so doing, generate important impulses for their further development.

Our research focuses on what we call the → Digital Laboratory which provides the necessary digital infrastructure for our projects while enabling us to compile the technical and methodical findings produced by the case studies and research groups. In this way, the Digital Laboratory has become a model competence centre, dedicated to the digital study and indexing of archival collections.

A central goal of the MWW is to promote junior researchers. In addition to our teaching activities, the annual International Summer School is a place of intellectual dialogue, and our work shadowing programme enables young academics to gain insights into our work and provides opportunities for conducting their own research. The same applies to our scholarship programme.

The MWW Research Association is now in its second funding phase which runs from 2019 to 2024. Although various thematic and conceptual focuses have shifted, our work continues to build on a number of projects conducted during the first funding phase (2013–2019).