Writing Culture in
Southern German Women's Convents
'Writing Culture in Southern German Women's Convents'
was the focus of a project funded from September 2008 until May 2012 by the
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) as part of its action plan on 'Libraries
and Archives in Cooperation with Research'. This programmatic new approach made
possible the cataloguing, digitisation and academic study of medieval
manuscripts and early printed books as well as of pragmatic documents and archival
records from five selected southern German women's convents.
Jointly organised by the Bayerische
Staatsbibliothek in Munich and the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, the
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster / Heinrich-Heine-Universität in Düsseldorf,
the project studied the medieval books of these Bavarian convents and their
archival holdings (until 1550) and now presents them embedded in their
historical context. The manuscripts, archival records and incunables created or
formerly owned by the Dominican sisters of Altenhohenau, the Bridgettines of
Altomünster, the Poor Clares (St. Jakob am Anger) and Franciscan Tertiaries
(Pütrichhaus) of Munich and the Benedictines of Neuburg an der Donau allowed
systematic insights into the convent libraries, economic management and the
particular roles of office holders. More broadly the project offered new
perspectives on the education, internal organisation and the self-conception of
these religious communities.
After the dissolution of these houses the historical
records were divided up and as a result, books and documents are today
preserved in libraries as well as in archives. It was therefore crucial to
bring them back together under an overall perspective. Through a synthesis of
the source material, the rich heritage of these often highly-educated women and
their engagement with literature can be assessed and presented in an
unprecedented way, within the wider context of these politically and
economically influential communities.
When the project expired, the project partner
provided in-house effort for the publication of the results. The documents have
been recently made accessible online as well as in a printed catalogue.
A thematic research archive hosted by the
Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online
introductory texts and an overview of the mediaeval holdings,structured by subject
groups based on mediaeval ways of organising libraries and knowledge, to allow
comparisons, despite the different quantity of source material from each convent. Links provide
direct access to the digitised manuscripts, early printed books, documents and
archival records. Manuscript descriptions are available online via http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de.
The printed catalogue contains introductory
material and detailed descriptions of the manuscripts from two of the convents
as well as an overview of the printed material:
Katalog der lateinischen Handschriften der Bayerischen
Staatsbibliothek München. Die Handschriften aus den Klöstern Altenhohenau und
Altomünster: Clm 2901-2966 sowie Streubestände gleicher Provenienz, Anja
Freckmann, Juliane Trede and Elisabeth Wunderle, eds, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz,
Melanie Hömberg's study of the economic
practices of the female communities, 'Economic Book
Keeping in Context', is available on the homepage through a link. Almut
Breitenbach's publications are listed in the bibliography.
With best wishes,
The Project Team
- Projektleitung, Universität Düsseldorf: Prof. Dr.
- Projektleitung, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München:
Dr. Bettina Wagner
- Admin. Projektleitung, Generaldirektion der
Staatlichen Archive Bayerns: Dr. Joachim Kemper, Dr. Michael Unger, Dr.
- Projektkoordination: Dr. Ingrid Gardill
- Auswertung (Buchbestände): Dr. Almut
- Auswertung (Wirtschaftsschriftlichkeit):
Dr. Melanie Hömberg
- Erschließung, Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv: Daniel
Russell, Dr. Silvia Strodel, Dr. Peter Urbanek
- Erschließung, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München:
Dr. Anja Freckmann, Dr. Juliane Trede, Dr. Elisabeth Wunderle
- Online-Präsentation, Universität Düsseldorf: Anna
Durwen, Anna Bündgens, Julius Wimmer
- Online-Präsentation, Bayerische Landesbibliothek
Online: Dr. Stephan Kellner, Friedrich Ulf Röhrer-Ertl, Jasmina Zöller