HeralD is a stone heraldic heritage digitalization project started by the Croatian Heraldic and Vexillological Association (HGZD) in 2019, designed as a multi-annual project to record, photographic and geolocational document, describe and process the rich Croatian stone heraldic heritage.
The project is designed to be made in phases, while the first phase in 2019 would produce the presentation platform and would process the heraldic heritage of the city of Šibenik. The subsequent phases would include, on the same platform, heritage of other cities, with dynamic in accordance with available resources and finances, as well as the support provided to the project by local communities.
The phase 1 of the project is made with financial support by the Republic of Croatia Ministry of Culture, and it would include some hundred coats of arms in public locations in the old city core of Šibenik.
The HGZD project team is led by Marko Radeljić, graduated historian, who also finished his thesis on the topic of stone heraldic heritage of Šibenik. He presented his project at the 33rd International Congress of Genealogy and Heraldry in Arras, France, for which he was awarded the student stipend of the International Heraldry Academy AIH in an international competition.
Contacts and cooperation was established during the project with relevant researches of stone heraldry in a number of Croatian cities, to ensure the highest quality of processing of the preserved heritage. Latest technologies are used for photo-documenting and geolocation of the artefacts in situ, including if required, small unmanned areal vehicles to access stone plastics from angles otherwise unavailable and beyond obstacles otherwise preventing good view.
The geocoded locations enable production of specialized maps of heraldic haritage, with research, but also tourist potential for culturally aware guests. Such data may enable in the end that observer in frontg of some stone coat of arms may easily locate information on it and its owner, the period of its make, and the context of its erection.
The data already available at the project portal HeralD www.herald.com.hr,even if it is still being in its developing phase, presents huge richness hidden by these silent witnesses carved in stone to anyone who is willing and cunning to hear what they are telling them across centuries.