Owing to their value as subjective sources for a variety of scientific disciplines and on account of the interesting information offered by their heterogenous content, ego-documents have become a broad, interdisciplinary research focus. Nevertheless, to date there have been no cross-institutional or cross-genre research systems devoted to these sources, nor have researchers arrived at a final definition of ego-documents. This project set out to publish a digital edition of the HAB’s holdings of early modern ego-documents and to catalogue them in depth with a view to making them accessible in digital form.
The project was divided into three parts. The first was devoted to publishing a first digital edition of the diaries of Duke August the Younger of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1579–1666), covering a period of forty years. The autographed diaries bearing the title Ephemerides: Sive Diarium are a central source for research on this historical figure and on the broad network of people he cultivated. The second part of the project focused on producing a finding aid for digital ego-documents. Using a pre-determined catalogue of criteria, it systematically identified and described the early modern ego-documents (excluding the category ‘letters’, of which there are a great many) in the HAB’s manuscript holdings. The aim was to document in digital form the scattered catalogues of these texts, which by virtue of the genre vary considerably. Finally, the results were pooled in a research portal, thus bringing together the edition, the finding aid and the introductory texts so that they can be retrieved jointly for research purposes. In following the guidelines of the Wolfenbüttel Digital Library, the project tested standards in digital research environments and continued work on their development.
Funding: PRO*Niedersachsen (MWK)
Duration: September 2014 – August 2017
Project participants: Inga Hanna Ralle (team member), Prof. Ulrike Gleixner (contact)