FactGrid:Gotha Illuminati Research Base Team
The Gotha Illuminati Research Base is a project of the Gotha Research Centre, a sub unit of the University of Erfurt University.
The Database with its network of document pages of transcripts and commentary began as a regular MediaWiki in the DFG funded project "Illuminati Essays" conducted by Markus Meumann and Olaf Simons under the supervision of Martin Mulsow.
The original platform was extremely successful with all its technical constraints — it could only speak German, all information had to be arranged manually. Yet, we were delighted that the pages quickly inspired the entire community of Illuminati research to join. Everyone doing work in the field contacted us with the wish to have an account on the platform.
Hermann Schüttler gave the platform its a central prosopographic structure with pages he created for all the members he had previously documented in his Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens, 1776-1787/93 (Munich, 1991). He also offered us a hard disc drive which we could not digest that easily in 2015: Its central content was an Access database with information on all the letters he had catalogued in the Halle based project on the Illuminati correspondence in which he had been working with Reinhard Markner under the supervision of Monika Neugebauer-Wölk. There was no good solution to present this treasure in a regular Wiki.
Gotha's project on the Illuminati essays ended in 2016 and left us with the awareness that the "Research Base" needed a database solution which had to be able to work with a conventional Wiki. Wikimedia Germany was ready to support us with the implementation of one of the first Wikibase instances outside Wikidata. The Gotha Illuminati Research Base eventually migrated onto the FactGrid platform, the Wikibase installation which we could now open to historical research of neighbouring projects.
We are presently working on a new phase of Illuminati research that will aim at the entire archival documentation of the organisation.
The Gotha Illuminati Research Base is at the same moment still a provisional project. The software comes without the user friendly interface we should like to offer. Much of our work has to be presented in SPARQL queries — to the delight of data miners but to the horror of anyone who would rather access an organised arrangement of web pages. We are aware of the problem and we know that we need a designed interface to offer easy access to the materials.
The project's main page — The Gotha Illuminati Research Base — gives an assortment of overviews and sample searches. Our transcripts are accessible through the full text search above. If you have questions concerning the project or the present web application do not hesitate to contact us
Dr. Olaf Simons
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