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Historian to develop online edition of the Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers

The German Research Foundation has awarded Professor Jörg Rogge of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz a grant of EUR 400,000 to create a digital edition of the Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers.

Augsburg Master Builders' ledgers 1454, 1456/1, 1456/2 and 1463 ©: Augsburg City Archive
Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers 1454, 1456/1, 1456/2 and 1463 ©: Augsburg City Archive

The Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers, named after the councillors in charge of the accounts for the Imperial City of Augsburg, are an almost completely the expenditures and part of the revenues of the southern German city of Augsburg from 1320 to 1800. They are excellent source for issues relating to economic and administrative history, but also especially for those relating to social and cultural studies. The great adherence to tradition and sheer uniformity of the entries make the ledgers a particularly suitable source to show where the Augsburg councilors spent money over the long term, such as for maintenance of public buildings, social expenditures, and municipal staff.

During the next three years, Rogge and three researchers will inventory the medieval ledgers from Augsburg for the period 1320 to 1466. The handwritten entries are being transcribed and transferred to a modern data entry format. There will also be commentary on relevant issues. Additional information about persons, places, institutions, and further facts will be discussed in the development of the Master Builders’ ledgers published online year by year.

The Master Builders’ ledgers will be presented online in collaboration with the Trier Center for Digital Humanities and the Mainz University Library. The goal of the project is to make the edited ledgers searchable and freely available online. This is an innovative form of processing and presenting these medieval ledgers that will greatly facilitate the systematic analysis of this unique resource.

Source: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, German Research Foundation (DGF)

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