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dMGH - Die digitalen Monumenta Germaniae Historica (dMGH)

dMGH - Die digitalen Monumenta Germaniae Historica (dMGH), commented by Andrea Rzihacek (IMAF)

Link: [02. 05. 2013]

„Die digitalen Monumenta Germaniae Historica (dMGH)“ is a digitization of all editions that have been published in print by the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH) since 1826. The MGH is one of the oldest and most renowned editorial projects in the world, which was founded in 1819 with the aim to provide editions of all main historical sources relating to the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. The publications, which follow sophisticated editorial rules that are widely accepted as a standard, are grouped in five main series (Scriptores, Leges, Diplomata, Epistolae and Antiquitates) which include historiographical texts and chronicles from late antiquity to the late Middle Ages (including the Liber Pontificalis), laws and legal texts, charters of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire (as well as the most influential lay princes), letters , books of commemoration, as well as poetical, theological and ethical writings. Besides critically edited and annotated texts, the dMGH also offer access to the introductions, commentaries, indices and illustrations contained in the individual volumes. In addition, the iMGH (Indices tomorum Monumentorum Germaniae Historicorum: allow access to a database of mediaeval place names and their modern equivalents, which is derived from the cumulative indices of all editions of the MGH. The database is yet to be completed, in the long run every place name will be identified by the corresponding geographic coordinates.

The dMGH is a joint venture of the Institute of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH) and the Bavarian State Library (both Munich). It was launched on 1st July 2004. The digitization of all 360 volumes hitherto published was completed by the end of 2010. Since then, all newly published editions have been added to the dMGH after a period of three years of availability in print (“moving wall”).

The website is in German only. A word-search can be executed in the complete database, but can also be restricted to either source texts, text-critical annotations, complementary notes and other texts or to one of the publicational series (Scriptores, Leges, Diplomata, Epistolae, Antiquitates and other series). Results can be shown by means of the scanned pages or as OCR. Results can chosen to be arranged in respect to volume, title, year or relevance.

There is no possibility for the user to annotate, correct or add to the material directly, it is possible, however, to contact a member of staff via e-mail.

All levels of the dMGH are available on open access and for free, login is not necessary and, in fact, not possible.

DRQEdit - Deutschsprachige Rechtsquellen in digitaler Edition – Digital edition of legal sources in German

DRQEdit - Deutschsprachige Rechtsquellen in digitaler Edition – Digital edition of legal sources in German, commented by Sonja Dünnebeil (IMAF)

Link: [14. 05. 2013]

The goal of DRQEdit is to make German legal literature of the 15th and 16th centuries available on the Internet. The edition focusses on the reception of Roman law and the adoption of the Ius commune taught at universities into normative texts and everyday legal literature. Access to these works, of which in most cases only a few remaining copies exist, is generally very difficult, only few of them being available in modern editions. Even though scans of some of these works have been made available in digital libraries, they can only be found by searching for specific authors or titles. The project therefore aims at making these sources available as a corpus that is searchable by a variety of metadata.

The corpus includes printed works until the year 1600 (only first impressions and later issues with significant changes) that are at least partially written in German (including Low German).

A series of criteria have been defined in order to arrive at a manageable corpus of sources, which includes:

  • Normative texts (but not church or police ordinances), such as
    • Gerichtsordnungen und Malefizordnungen
    • Town law (Stadtrecht) reforms
    • National law (Landrechte) and national ordinances
    • Imperial law (Reichsrecht), especially edicts of the Imperial diet
  • Popular legal literature, in particular
    • Translations and interpretations of Roman law
    • Editions of German law books (with commentaries)
    • Formularies and other instructions for legal practice

Research to date has resulted in a corpus of around 450 works and some 90,000 printed pages. In addition to being available as digital facsimiles, some of the sources have also been transcribed.

DRQEdit is a project which developed out of work on the “Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch”. It is being carried out jointly by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History and the Chair of Historical and Cultural Information Processing at the University of Cologne under the leadership of the former head of the “Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch” research unit, Dr. Heino Speer.

There is the possibility to subscribe to a RSS-Feed to be kept informed about newly added materials.

The website is in German only. The full text version can be searched word by word. Some of the texts provide special links that contain additional information to facilitate further research. Cross-referencing is an essential aspect. On the one hand, the popular legal literature contains a large number of references (allegations) to passages in the Corpus iuris civilis and its related medieval commentaries. These allegations require a fundamental familiarity with this literature including the modalities of citation, relationships between the texts are intricate and very difficult to understand. Moreover, the normative texts have frequently to be seen in the light of earlier texts, but without explicit mentioning being made of this dependent relationship. Within the scope of the project it is only partially possible to clarify the relationships between the texts included in the corpus and written manifestations of Roman law.

There is no possibility for the user to annotate, correct or add to the material directly, it is possible, however, to contact a member of staff via e-mail. DRQEdit is available on open access and for free, login is not necessary.

Kaiserurkunden in Abbildungen

Kaiserurkunden in Abbildungen, commented by Renate Spreitzer (IMAF)

Link: [02.05.2013]

The website gives access to a digital version of “Kaiserurkunden in Abbildungen” by Theodor von Sickel and Heinrich von Sybel, which appeared in two volumes in 1891. It was soon to become a standard work for diplomatics, one volume containing facsimiles of 364 charters of emperors and kings of the Holy Roman Empire, from the Merovingians until the beginning of the 16th century (716–1517), with a second volume providing detailed descriptions of the charters. It covers all types of regal and imperial charters and thus enables the user to study their outward appearance and their development. The work has proved a perfect aid for students of medieval diplomatics and in fact for anybody who is interested in the field. On the website both volumes are available in a scanned digital version and can either be browsed or searched  by means of a chronological index.

Processing started bevor 2005 and was carried out by Digitale Bibliothek – Münchener Digitalisierungszentrum (MDZ). The digitization of the two volumes being complete, there are as yet no plans to further develop the website.

The website is in German only. The scanned digital version is searchable by means of a chronological index which includes date, place, issuer, contents and recipient of each charter. Each entry is linked with the description and the facsimile and, if available, with a short summary in the Regesta Imperii. It is also possible to “leaf” through the scanned version.

There is no possibility for the user to annotate, correct or add to the material. “Kaiserurkunden in Abbildungen” is available on open access and for free, login is not required.

matricula-online – Matrikelbücher online – Church registers online

matricula-online – Matrikelbücher online – Church registers online, commented by Andrea Rzihacek (IMAF)

Link: [02. 05. 2013]

„Matricula. Church registers online“ is a digitization of church registers from parishes and religious communities in Austria and Germany. It was initiated by “ICARUS - International Centre for Archival Research”, an association of archives from 23 European states and Canada. In a first pilot phase it provides digitized images of church registers from catholic parishes in Lower Austria (Diözesanarchiv St. Pölten), Upper Austria (Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv), Vienna (Erzdiözese Wien), the catholic dioceses of Passau and Hildesheim, the protestant churches of Rhineland, Kurhessen-Waldeck and the Evangelical Central Archive in Berlin. Some of the registers go back to the early 17th century (individual volumes even further), the years before World War II (in some cases 1939) marking the final period covered by the project. Matricula-online aims at providing easy access to scanned individual volumes of church registers as one of the main sources for personal data that have always been widely used by historians and genealogists alike. For each volume of a parish the category (christenings, weddings, deaths), the time-span covered and the archival shelf-mark are given. The website offers useful links to other online-collections of church registers in the province of Vorarlberg (Austria) and in the Czech Republic.

The website of matricula-online, which comes in German and English, has been processed by Diözesanarchiv St. Pölten since September 2009. The individual archives and institutions that supply metadata and images are identified as copyright-holders. The project ist still in its pilot phase with continuous additions to the database and updating

Navigation is kept simple and straightforward. After having identified a specific parish in one of the alphabetical lists of place names of a respective diocesis, all still extant registers of this parish, which can be chosen according to the category of register and period of time, are available to view. There is the possibility to either leaf through the scanned pages of a whole volume or to navigate to a specific page, although not to specific dates or names. Images may be viewed, enlarged, adjusted, but not printed. Requests for reproductions from the registers must be addressed to the respective archives or can be mailed to ICARUS and will then be passed on to the archives.

There is no possibility for the user to annotate, correct or add to the material directly, it is possible, however, to contact ICARUS via e-mail.

Matricula-online is available on open access and for free, login is not necessary and, in fact, not possible. The website offers, however, additional tools for users, such as a database of place names, which are part of other websites that may require login., commented by Andreas Zajic (IMAF)

Link: [22. 05. 2013] is a platform offering online access to a vast range of diplomatic sources from European archives. Starting out as a project restricted to the charters preserved in the archives of monasteries in Lower Austria in the early 2000s it has developed into a collaboration of public (state and municipal) and private (diocesan, monastic and other) archives from 13 Central European countries, bringing together charters from about 110 single archival collections. provides inhomogeneous information on currently c. 250.000 charters. The original goal (as long as the geographic horizon was focused on Lower Austria) was to provide a high-quality digital image along with a full-text edition of each single charter. The basis for the text was the digitization of the painstaking 19th century editions published within the series Fontes Rerum Austriacarum. The expansion of the project since 2006 has made it impossible to keep up these standards for each archival collection. In most cases, the user will find a good image of each charter (photos are taken in the archives by a specialist team from Monasterium; only very few archives do not permit the online publication of the images) and an HTML based text, ranging from very succinct abstracts as provided by (mostly 19th century) archival repertories to OCR digitized reliable full text editions. Only a small number of images lack any accompanying textual information. Most of the archival collections offer an introduction with a more or less detailed history of their holdings and a short bibliography. Besides the presentation of charters belonging to the actual archival fonds there is a separate section of virtual “collections” containing digitized editions of diplomatic sources that would cover more than one archive.

The material is not restricted to the Middle Ages but early modern charters are decidedly fewer in number. Linked to the website are several pdf-documents of publications referring to the project or to archival material made accessible by was founded as an initiative of Thomas Aigner, head of the diocesan archive of St. Pölten (Lower Austria), and has been online since the early 2000s,with major international additions in 2006/07. Today is maintained and coordinated by the ICARus consortium (International Centre for Archival Research) and is supported by the European Union (Culture Program 2007-2013), the Austrian State Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and a large number of local authorities contributing to the photography campaigns in their archives. The rights for the photos, however, remain with the archival holders. is continually expanding its database.

Languages available with the website are Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Serbian, Slovenian, Slovak and Spanish for the main site with the project description and some of the navigation bars; contents (description of archival holdings, history of archival fonds, calendars and abstracts) only in the national languages as provided by the respective member archives and institutions.

All texts within the whole database can be scanned by a simple full text search (incl. truncations). Search options contain the restriction to single archival fonds, results may be sorted by date or relevance. Names and places are regularly given in the form of older printed editions and are generally not identified with their modern or a standardized form, so that searching for persons will require several turns with alternative spellings.

Registered users may share their expertise with the collaborative archive and participate in editing and commenting charters using an XML-based online template. is available on open access and for free, login is not necessary for not-registered users.

Regesten zur Geschichte der Juden in Österreich im Mittelalter

Regesten zur Geschichte der Juden in Österreich im Mittelalter, commented by Renate Spreitzer (IMAF)

Links: [02.05.2013] [02.05.2013]

The Institute for Jewish History in Austria (INJOEST, until 2008 Institute for the History of Jews in Austria), was founded in 1988. Since 2011 the Institute has been affiliated to the Institut für österreichische Geschichtsforschung (University of Vienna). Its task is to carry out comprehensive research into the history and culture of the Jews in (today’s) Austria, from the Middle Ages up to the present day.

One of the main areas of research is the collection of medieval sources of Jewish history in Austria. Since 1988 these very important sources have been collected and prepared for publishing, among them many diplomas as well as historiographic and literary sources.

In 2005 and 2010 two volumes of „Regesten zur Geschichte der Juden in Österreich im Mittelalter“ were published by Eveline Brugger and Birgit Wiedl in printed form. They contain a total of 1144 regests in chronological order, from the beginnings until 1338 (vol. 1) and from 1339 until 1365 (vol. 2). An index of persons and places as well as a bibliography complete the volumes. Both volumes were scanned and are available online in pdf-format.

Two volumes covering the periods from 1366–1386 and from 1387–1404 sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund are currently being prepared and it is to be expected that they will be digitized as well.

The websites were set up and processed by the Institute for Jewish History in Austria in 2005 and 2010 respectively. The digitization of the two volumes being complete, there are as yet no plans to further develop or update the website. It is to be expected, however, that at the end of the ongoing projects resulting volumes will be digitized as well.

The online-version of „Regesten zur Geschichte der Juden in Österreich“ is available in German only. The pdf-file is searchable word by word.

There is no possibility for the user to annotate, correct or add to the material directly. All levels of the website are available on open access and for free, login is not required.

RI-Online – Regesta Imperii Online

RI-Online – Regesta Imperii Online, commented by Petra Heinicker and Kornelia Holzner-Tobisch (IMAF)

Link: [15. 05. 2013]

The project „Regesta Imperii“ (RI) was started in the 19th century by Friedrich Böhmer (1795–1863) and is now one of the most extensive collections of data relating to the history of Europe. It aims at opening up diplomatic and historiographic sources for the history of the Holy Roman Empire from the time of the Carolingians to Emperor Maximilian I (751–1519) as well as for papal history in the early and high Middle Ages. The online-version “RI-Online” covers the contents of all volumes that have been published since 1839, accompanied by indices specially provided for the digital edition.
RI-Online currently holds more than 125 000 entries, with regesta of recently printed volumes being included immediately after publishing. Under the heading „Materialien“ additional material, such as introductory chapters, indices and cross-reference lists, as well as data from work-in-progress (e.g. a database of the charters of Emperor Frederick III.) is supplied. The database of regesta is complemented by the “RI-Opac”, a bibliographical database that covers all disciplines of mediaeval research in the whole of Europe. It currently contains more than 1,6 Mio titles, a great number of which were published as articles and papers in journals, catalogues and collections of proceedings.


RI-Online has been processed by a special editorial department of Regesta Imperii at the Academy of Sciences and Literature at Mainz since 2001. In 2009 the database of the charters of Emperor Frederick III. and a module of supplements were added. The entire RI-database was relaunched in 2012. Volumes published in print are immediately made available online.


For administrative parts of the website German or English can be chosen, whereas the regesta are in German only.

There is an option between a simple full-text search and a more detailed professional search („Expertensuche“) according to key words or phrases, dates or numbers of regesta, which can be executed in all volumes or be restricted to special series or single volumes or even to certain parts of the database (texts of the regesta, commentaries or supplementary material).


Users are invited to add supplementary notes or corrections to the database, which are made available (via simple full-text and professional search) to other users after examination by the editors. It is also possible for users to suggest additions to the bibliographical database RI-Opac.


All services provided by RI-Online are free and do not require login.