FactGrid:Early Modern

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Note: The calendars switch from Julian to Gregorian in various countries at different dates

The software allows you to choose between Julian and Gregorian dates. The database object Gregorian calendar has the dates in both formats. Post 1582 dates that are entered in the Julian values are automatically converted to Gregorian dates by the QueryService.

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Digging into Early Colonial Mexico

How can language technologies and geospatial analysis facilitate answering important questions about the early colonisation of America? How did the Spanish colonial authorities portray and use information about the newly conquered territories and people? Can we identify, map, and analyse the geographies associated with the colonial period of Mexico, and what was said about them in historical sources, through expedite computational means?

Using part of the corpus known as Relaciones Geográficas de la Nueva España (The Geographic Reports of New Spain) – one of the most important colonial historical sources of America – concerned with the territory of Mexico, this project is creating and developing novel computational approaches for the semi-automated exploration of thousands of pages contained in these 16th century documents.

Tackling important historical and methodological questions, and highly demanding challenges in the study of these written sources, we are extracting, analysing, and visualising information that can improve our understanding of this period, and expedite the process by which we study these documents.

Our highly interdisciplinary team is combining techniques from different disciplines, including Corpus Linguistics, Text Mining, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Geographic Information Systems, to address questions related to the recording of information about indigenous cultures, the Spanish exploration of indigenous social and religious concepts, the appropriation and ideas about place and space in the indigenous world, and their attitudes towards politics and economy.

The project is composed by 3 sub-teams based at Lancaster University (UK), the Museum of Templo Mayor (INAH-Mexico), and INESC-ID University of Lisbon (Portugal). We come from History, Archaeology, Geography, and Computer Science.

For more information visit the "Digging into Early Colonial Mexico — A large-scale computational analysis of 16th century historical sources" project's home page at Lancaster University.

Patricia Murrieta-Flores

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The Landscape of Early Modern Religious Dissent

(Field of Research:Q23177) The history of Christianity can – also – be told as continuous conflict over spiritual and political unity as Gottfried Arnold proposed with his Impartial History of the Church and Heretics (1699/1700). The continuities are, however, not that clear. Fundamental tenets and polarities between individual inspiration and theological orthodoxies might look like constants but the political and technical environments have been changing dramatically. Christianity became a state religion and states faced ever new challenges to guarantee minority rights if not a citizen-status regardless of the "personal" and "private" religious affiliation. Notions of subjectivity emerged and both created and relativised new fields of "free" expression. New media facilitated the spread of ideas and the ways societies could generate and handle internal conflicts.

The FactGrid The Landscape of Early Modern Religious Dissent project wants to serve the research community exploring the early modern religious map with the interactive database software we are using. Create items on persons, meetings, correspondences with little more than two or three connections; others might draw further connections with the data they have. The site's wider focus will raise particular questions: The "enlightenment" has been said to have discredited much of the "enthusiastic" religious landscape that still characterised early 18th century. We should be able to get beyond this statement: New organisational ties became fashionable with the emergence of freemasonry and the development of the global industrial market on which esotericism could thrive as new commodities of personal style and perception. It is not that clear how this new map of self-orientation could grow on the old religious soil, nor do we presently have a clearer picture of the networks that shaped and pervaded these developments.


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Subscription lists

Thousands of 18th- and 19th-century publications appeared with subscription lists of those who promised to buy copies once the object was printed. These lists are extremely valuable to understand the audiences of works — they usually offer additional information about social status, place of home address, gender, occupation. FactGrid is an ideal medium to gather and aggregate such information as we are ready to create items even if we do not know more about the respective objects of knowledge. Create such objects and aggregate information in the research process...

We are in the event usually able to offer rich information on an increasing number of items in a set — thanks to the collaborative work that comes across the same objects here and there. We should theoretically be able to give profiles of the audience, age profiles, gender distributions, social profiles, profiles of the geographical outreach. It i all a matter of data we have to accumulate.

The FactGrid Subscription project has started with data Martin Perkins and Simon D. I. Fleming are providing on 770 musical publications published primarily for anglophone audiences in the 18th and early 19th centuries — see their project page on FactGrid:Musical Subscriptions. The final data set will spot more than 150,000 people who bought these publications. Here some first searches (basically on the titles):

Project initiated by Martin Perkins, Simon D. I. Fleming and Christine Philliou

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The FactGrid Prose Fiction Project

(Field of Research:Q195135) Early modern readers gained the liberty if not the moral obligation to laugh about the medieval romances and legends that had suddenly flooded the European book market. But the era of “literature”, the era of learning, came with an uncanny undercurrent: The very word became the term of the previously unliterary production of plays, poems and fiction. These fields, so their new appraisal in the 18th and 19th centuries, showed a sublime understanding, they were “literature” in a higher sense. Only in these truly literary fields would artists be free become voices of their times and the nations. Shifts in the terminologies accompanied the new appraisal of the previously unliterary: The “novel” supplanted the “romance” in English — not exactly in a turn towards “realistic” plots, if we look at the “Gothic novels” that redefined the word around 1800. How did sujets and genres pervade these developments? How do our historical narratives of the “Rise of the Novel” relate to the changes within the production which we can actually observe and quantify? To what extent did secondary discourses reflect the contemporary developments? To what extent did they induce them in a complex win/win situation? Questions that can only find more precise answers with a look at the wider European market. The FactGrid prose fiction project wants to enable researchers to interconnect, categorise and explore titles of their various research projects — cooperatively and across the boundaries of our present philologies.

Participants Marie Gunreben, Olaf Simons, Philipp Redl


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The Global Genealogy of Lodges

(Field of Research:Q10678) FactGrid presently offers the data sets of some 2100 Lodges, most of them of the (former) German speaking territories. The individual sets are by and large superficial — most of them drawn from GND data, French Lodges came into the project with Bruno Belhoste's Harmonia Universalis project, Swedish Lodges were added by Andreas Önnerfors — both with complex membership information. A couple of lodges have become test cases for the more interesting and wider project with denser packs of information (see Gotha's former Lodge "Ernst zum Compaß" as our case of greatest detail).

The following searches give insight into the status quo:

Sub Project

Data model

more on our project site The Global Genealogy of Lodges

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The Gotha Illuminati Research Base

(Field of Research:Q10677) The Gotha Illuminati Research Base is a collaborative project of Gotha's Research Centre with a longer list of contributors: Olaf Simons, Markus Meumann, Hermann Schüttler, Reinhard Markner, Christian Wirkner, Erik Liebscher, Marie Nosper, Martin Mulsow, Josef Wäges — to mention the most prominent.

The database comprises the data sets of some 7000 documents, 1500 publications, 1400 people who were members or otherwise related to the order. Showcases are the

The database is particularly useful to reconstruct correspondences — offering focuses on

The project page offers more sample queries and first perspectives on the findings.

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Harmonia Universalis

(Field of Research:Q172203) The Harmonia Universalis Research Base aims to build the mesmerist network in all its diversity and to analyse its integration into the social space on the eve of the French Revolution, emphasising its links with the medical profession and other forms of sociability, in particular learned and Masonic.

The project, led by Bruno Belhoste and David Riccardo Armando, is mainly supported by the Hastec labex and the IHMC, with the participation of CARE (CRH UMR 8558) and the ISPF (CNR). It benefits from the collaboration of several researchers, including Claire Gantet and Isabelle Havelange, and is open to all those interested in the subject.

A data set is already available in the form of prosopographic sheets on the original Harmonia universalis Database. The database is being installed on FactGrid where it should be available from December 2020.

...and more interesting links and searches will follow.


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Die Frühphase der deutschen Studentenverbindungen

(Forschungsfeld:Q28115) Das von Martin Gollasch initiierte Projekt entwickelte sich aus einer Erfassung einzelner Göttinger Studentenverbindungen und ihrer bekannten Mitglieder heraus... Landsmannschaften, Studentenorden und Freimaurerlogen organisierten im 18. Jahrhundert die extra curricularen Aktivitäten der Studentenschaft in den Universitätsstädten. Die Universitätswechsel spiegeln sich als Wanderungsbewegung nicht nur in den Matrikeln der Universitäten, sondern auch denen der studentischen Sozietäten der Aufklärungszeit. Erst vor diesem Hintergrund erklären sich viele Stammbucheinträge, die Ereignisse wie ein gemeinsames Essen, eine Reise oder schlicht Empörung wegen obrigkeitlicher Eingriffe samt den Teilnehmern oder Betroffenen spiegeln. Ungewohnt ist sicherlich der schwerpunktmäßige Aufbau der Biogramme vom Ausgangspunkt der Universitätsmatrikel oder der Matrikel der Sozietät her. Wir werden hier künftig die bislang empirisch nicht erforschten, aber immer wieder behaupteten Unvereinbarkeiten von Mitgliedschaften in solchen Sozietäten sehen können oder eben nicht bestätigt finden. Viele Momente in späteren Lebensabschnitten einer Biografie lassen sich durch Erlebnisse und Begegnungen der Studienzeit erklären, denn nach der Lebenserfahrung gibt es eigentlich weniger Zufälle als sie oftmals leichtfertig behauptet werden.

  • Mitglieder des Studentenordens ZN waren im Göttingen der 1770er tonangebend, somit drängt sich die Frage auf:

Es gibt, abgesehen von aus Gotha stammenden Studenten schon jetzt erkennbare starke Überschneidungen mit Christian Wirkners Göttinger Freimaurern und auch einzelnen Illuminaten. Dies lässt nicht nur auf den GND-Daten-Input auf der einen Seite, sondern auch auf die Genealogen auf der anderen Seite hoffen. Ein weiteres erklärtes Ziel ist es, Sozietätenzugehörigkeiten in Familien über die Generationen hinweg auf die Spur zu kommen. Und so kommt im Rahmen dieser Kontinuitätsforschung der zeitweilige Vorzeige-Illuminat Adolph Freiherr Knigge, salopp gesprochen, nicht nur als universitär vorgebildeter Vereinsmeier daher, sondern er war durch seinen Vater diesbezüglich auch genetisch vorbelastet...

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Religion im Herzogtum Gotha-Sachsen-Altenburg: Pfarrer, Pfarreien, Archive

Zwei Dateneingaben stehen im Zentrum des Projekts: Das Archiv der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche, Gotha gab Anfang 2019 seinen Aktenbestand ins FactGrid ein. Bis auf die Aktenebene bietet die Plattform seitdem das

Heino Richard arbeitet seit dem Frühjahr 2019 an der Gesamterfassung aller Pfarrer im ehemaligen Gothaer Herzogtum. Greifbar sind hier mittlerweile alle Pfarreien des Territoriums mit den Stellenbesetzungen von der Reformation bis in die 1920er Jahre.

Das aktuelle Projekt weitet diese Resource aus mit genealogischer Hintergrundinformation zu den Eltern, den Familien, in die die Pfarrer hineinheirateten, und den Familien, die die Kinder gründeten. Berufsinformationen und geographische Hintergrundinformationen sind Teil der hier vorgelegten komplexen Datensätze.

Ein Desiderat ist von hier aus die mittlerweile die Vernetzung der Information in die Aktenbeständen der Landeskirche und des Staatsarchivs hinein.