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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.