Digital Edition and Annotation of the Diary of Prince Christian II of Anhalt-Bernburg (1599-1656)
Oil painting (late 18th century based on an earlier model)
Museum Schloss Bernburg, Gemäldesammlung, VIa/59/44
For quite some time, the Herzog August Bibliothek has been involved in developing platforms for digital editions based on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and has established its own publication series on the internet with the Editiones Electronicae Guelferbytanae.
The digital edition of the diary of the Calvinist Prince Christian II of Anhalt-Bernburg (1599-1656) will open up a quantitatively and qualitatively very unique concave mirror of German and European history as well as of the varied discourses in the era of the first half of the seventeenth century. The document covers the years stretching from 1621 to 1656. It is stored in the Landeshauptarchiv Dessau (State Saxony-Anhalt) and comprises 23 volumes with approximately 17,400 mostly hand-written pages. Prince Christian’s daily notations from the period of the Thirty Years War far surpass all known German personal testimonials of that period regarding their thematic abundance and literary quality, their subtle, learned rhetoric and subjective expressivity. They supply an enormous wealth of complex historical information, which has the potential of inspiring all facets of early modern research (i.e. autobiographical writing; political and war history; social history and the history of everyday life; gender history; history of the nobility; cultural, language and literary history; confessionalization; the history of emotions and of dreams).
The project is being carried out by the HAB (researcher: Alexander Zirr, from Nov. 2016 also Dr. Andreas Herz) in cooperation with Prof Dr Ronald Asch/Universität Freiburg and Dr Arndt Schreiber (researcher) and is planned for a twelve year period within the framework of a DFG long-term project. In the first phase the period from January 1635 to August 1637 - which comprises nearly 1,500 pages - was edited and already made available online via the web portal. In the second phase the diary volumes from November 1621 are edited and also made available online.
The digital edition will be provided with a general introduction and search masks for places, persons and full text. The retrievable diary volumes will be accompanied by color scans of the original pages, transcriptions (including printable versions), necessary translations where applicable, brief introductions, tabular or cartographic itineraries, index of places and persons, a glossary of archaic terminology as well as cartographic material for the Principality of Anhalt, the Holy Roman Empire and Europe in the first half of the seventeenth century. The project is supervised by an academic advisory board.