The project aims to produce a digital edition of four diary-style manuscripts in the holdings of Herzog August Bibliothek dating from the period between 1698 and 1724, which were written by Duke Ludwig Rudolf of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1671–1735) and his wife Christine Luise (1671–1747), who was born into the House of Oettingen-Oettingen. Transcribing and commenting on these aristocratic ego-documents and making them available in digital form will grant scholars access to documents on the history of the land, the court and the aristocracy which have hitherto received little attention. Not only will the sources give us rare in-depth insights into the personal development, experience, cultural perception, everyday life, social practices and networks of this princely couple, they also have the potential to furnish general information about political and courtly culture in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Ludwig Rudolf only reigned over the Duchy of Wolfenbüttel late in life for a brief period (1731–35), which means that in historiographic terms he has remained in the shadow of his father and grandfather, Duke Anton Ulrich (1633–1714) and Duke August the Younger (1579–1666). Yet he and his wife Christine Luise pursued an exceptionally intensive cultural policy in the county of Blankenburg, which he had first received as an appanage in 1690. Blankenburg was then raised to a principality in 1707 and Ludwig Rudolf ruled it independently from 1714 onwards. The couple were prominent in setting up extensive libraries and promoting theatre and opera, thereby establishing Blankenburg as a cultural hub, which on occasion noticeably competed with the ducal court in Wolfenbüttel.
Both in terms of its contents and its technology, the project builds upon “Ego-documents of the Early Modern era in the Herzog August Bibliothek: Digital edition of the diary of Duke August the Younger, finding aid for ego-documents and research portal” – a project funded by the Pro*Niedersachen programme – by further developing the research portal set up for the “Duke August the Younger” project.
Funding: Pro*Niedersachsen (MWK)
Duration: January 2019 – December 2021
Project participants: Jan-Hendrik Hütten (team member since 12/2020, previously research assistant), Miriam Mulzer (research assistant), Dr Alexander Zirr (former team member: 01/2019–11/2020), Dr Andreas Herz (former team member: 01/2019–11/2020)