AHR Digital Resources (December 2020)

Digital Resources
The American Historical Review, Volume 125, Issue 5, December 2020, Pages 2055–2056, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhaa522
Published: 29 December 2020

The Digital Resources section provides links to freely accessible online content, including archival collections of primary sources, interactive media, podcasts, visual and oral histories, and public history resources of all kinds. The sites identified here draw on the expertise of AHR staff, the Board of Editors, Indiana University History Librarian Scott Libson, and readers. Readers are encouraged to use the form available at historians.org/digital-primary-sources to submit their own favorite online digital resources that may be of broad interest to historians, scholars, and educators.



“[Virtual Hill Museum and Manuscript Library] offers resources and tools for the study of manuscripts and currently features manuscript cultures from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. The site houses high-resolution images of manuscripts, many of them digitized as part of HMML’s global mission to preserve and share important, endangered, and inaccessible manuscript collections through digital photography, archiving, and cataloging. It also contains descriptions of manuscripts from HMML’s legacy microfilm collection, with scans of some of these films.”



“Photo picture postcards of Korea, published 1900–1940 (collection of Yamamoto Shunsuke, Kyoto; former researcher at the Koryo Museum of Art, Kyoto), are presented in digital format together with publication data and other details . . . They are classified under (I) landscapes; (II) scenes of everyday life; (III) Post Office–issued (kansei) postcards, commemorative postcards; (IV) postmarked postcards, postcard packets; (V) photograph/stereo-photograph cards; (VI) sightseeing guides, etc.; and (VII) donated postcards. Categories I to IV are now available. Postcards in V, VI, and VII, once organized by category, will be made available in stages.”



“Peel’s Prairie Provinces is a resource dedicated to assisting scholars, students, and researchers of all types in their exploration of western Canadian history and the culture of the Canadian prairies. This website contains both an online bibliography of books, pamphlets, and other materials related to the development of the Prairies, as well as a searchable full-text collection of many of these items. As of Summer 2013, after 10 years’ worth of additions, Peel contains approximately 7,500 digitized books, over 66,000 newspaper issues (4.8 million articles!), 16,000 postcards, and 1,000 maps. These materials are extremely varied—rich in both text and images, providing an extraordinarily diverse picture of the Prairie experience. Many of the items date back to the earliest days of exploration in the region and include a vast range of material dealing with every aspect of the settlement and development of the Canadian West. Materials selected for Peel are highly diverse in regard to the cultural experiences that they reflect. Although English-language titles predominate the collection, Peel also contains a very substantial body of materials in French, Ukrainian, and numerous other languages.”



“This Sounding Spirit pilot digital library features songbooks and hymnals published across the southern United States from 1850 to 1925. Spanning holdings from four partner archives, the digital library’s twenty-two books include words-only hymnals, gospel songbooks, spiritual collections, and shape-note tunebooks, demonstrating the wide variety of form, content, and presentation in southern vernacular sacred songbooks. These songbooks employ competing notation systems and vary in musical style from dispersed harmony fuging tunes and plain tunes of the shape-note repertoire, to antiphonal gospel, to classically inspired arrangements of African American spirituals, to words-only hymns in Muskokee sung in unison, to tunes in oral tradition shared among southern black and white congregations. Organized into collections that highlight texts’ associated places, populations, genres, and denominational affiliations, the digital library allows for rich engagement with songbooks and hymnals seminal in their respective eras, but historically underrepresented in both archival holdings and scholarship. These works and collections illustrate the primacy of songbooks to the dynamic encounters among white, black, and native communities navigating modernizing forces across the US South and beyond.”



“The projects of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission will educate Oklahomans and Americans about the Race Massacre and its impact on the state and Nation; remember its victims and survivors; and create an environment conducive to fostering sustainable entrepreneurship and heritage tourism within the Greenwood District specifically, and North Tulsa generally.” The website features a curriculum complete with lesson plans, activities, and bibliographies for teachers and students, as well as other resources to plan educational visits to Tulsa’s Greenwood District.



“This application enables you to search and explore historic newspaper photographs. You can search by keyword over the photos’ captions (extracted from the OCR of each newspaper page), as well as search by visual similarity. The visual similarity search capability retrieves relevant photos by empowering you to train a machine learning algorithm by selecting photos that you are interested in. The application contains 1.56 million photos from the Newspaper Navigator dataset, consisting of all extracted photos in the dataset published between 1900 and 1963 with confidence scores above 90%. Advertisements are considered a separate category in the Newspaper Navigator dataset, but you may still find some advertisements using this application.”



“Independent Voices is an open access digital collection of alternative press newspapers, magazines and journals, drawn from the special collections of participating libraries. These periodicals were produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBT activists, the extreme right-wing press and alternative literary magazines during the latter half of the 20th century.”



“The Post-Reformation Digital Library (PRDL) is a select database that organizes the vast array of publicly available digital sources on the development of theology and philosophy during the early modern era (late 15th–18th c.). The PRDL spans collections from major research libraries, independent scholarly initiatives, and corporate documentation projects. With the proliferation of sources scattered across various digital libraries, it can be difficult for the individual scholar to find or keep track of all the new content that is appearing daily. The PRDL is a response to the challenge of curation arising from this situation, and is a collaborative effort to organize this content for scholars of early modern theology and philosophy. The PRDL does not directly host digital copies of sources, but rather assembles links to publicly available sources from permanent collections.”



“OMAR was built at the University of Freiburg (Germany), in cooperation with the Information Technology Center of the University of Tübingen (Germany). The database contains images of approx. 2,500 Arabic manuscripts (in full text, 134,000 images) from Mauritania together with the corresponding bibliographical metadata. The scans were taken from microfilms, stored at the University of Freiburg, whose originals are preserved at the IMRS (Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Scientifique) in Nouakchott (Mauritania). The microfilms were made by Rainer Oßwald, Ulrich Rebstock and Tobias Mayer during several research trips in Mauritania between 1979 and 1997.”



“The digital collection of Borno and Old Kanembu manuscripts provides an online access to one of the earliest written sub-Saharan languages in manuscript form. Old Kanembu, written in Arabic script, was a language of Qurʾanic interpretation in the ancient Borno Sultanate. It has survived in marginal and interlinear annotations in the early Qurʾan manuscripts dating from the 17th to 19th centuries and in various other religious texts dating from the 19th century to the 1980s.”

Napoleons Plan eines Zentralarchivs

Jeremy D. Popkin bespricht: MARIA PIA DONATO. L’archivio del mondo: Quando Napoleone confiscò la storia.
Maria Pia Donato. L’archivio del mondo: Quando Napoleone confiscò la storia. (Storia e Società.) Rome: Editori Laterza, 2019. Pp. xiii, 170. Paper €19.00.
in: The American Historical Review, Volume 125, Issue 5, December 2020, Pages 1979–1980, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhz789 (Toll access)

“L’archivio del mondo: Quando Napoleone confiscò la storia, Maria Pia Donato’s slim volume on the “archive of the world,” Napoleon’s effort to centralize the historical records of the European continent and its overseas empires in the capital of his empire, touches not just on a little-known historical episode but also on central issues in what the author calls “the cultural history of archives” (ix; translation mine, here and throughout). […]
Donato’s extensively documented monograph adds to our picture of the Napoleonic Empire’s ambitions and of the difficulties the emperor had in achieving them. One issue she does not discuss is the significance of the archival records generated by the Napoleonic regime itself in the territories it annexed. […] While L’Archivio del mondo is thus not a complete history of the Napoleonic archive project, it is a useful addition to the literature on the European dimension of Napoleon’s reign and an elegant demonstration of the truth of Michel Foucault’s thesis on the relationship of archives and power.”

Die Autorin berichtet über die Ergebnisse ihrer Forschungen auf Italienisch:


Auf Deutsch ist in jüngerer Zeit wohl nur

Leopold Auer, Die Verschleppung der Akten des Reichshofrats durch Napoleon, in: Thomas Olechowski/ Christian Neschwara/ Alina Lengauer (Hg.), Grundlagen der österreichischen Rechtskultur. Festschrift für Werner Ogris zum 75. Geburtstag, Wien, Köln, Weimar 2010, S. 1-13


Intransparenz: “Können Sie sagen, wie teuer es war? Nein, das möchten wir nicht bekanntgeben”

Es geht um das älteste in Frankfurt am Main gedruckte Buch aus dem Jahr 1511, das die UB Frankfurt angekauft hat.



Epitaphe der Freiherren von Woellwarth

Die Epitaphe der Freiherren von Woellwarth. Eingeleitet, herausgegeben und kommentiert von Gabi und Wolfgang Gokenbach, Torsten Krannich, Siegfried Leidenberger. Essingen: Selbstverlag der Herausgeber 2020. 204 S., zahlreiche, überwiegend farbige Abbildungen. 20 Euro. ISBN 9783000669828

Das auch komplett auf Academia.edu [und im Internet Archive] zur Verfügung stehende Werk ist eine willkommene Bereicherung der Adelsgeschichte, Kunstgeschichte, #Epigraphik und #Heraldik Südwestdeutschlands. Nach einer umfangreichen, wohlbebilderten und mit Fußnoten belegten1 Einleitung zur Familiengeschichte der ostschwäbischen Niederadelsfamilie und zu ihrer bedeutendsten Grablege im Kloster Lorch folgt der alphabetisch nach Orten (Ansbach bis Woringen) sortierte Katalog der Objekte: 115 Epitaphe, Totenschilde und Grabplatten. Irritierend ist für mich freilich, dass im Ortsteil Zwischenüberschriften zu den Ortsnamen fehlen. Leicht übersieht man, dass diese unten klein neben der Seitenzahl stehen. Vermisst wird eine Stammtafel, da die einschlägige Zusammenstellung im Privatdruck “Die Freiherren von Woellwarth” (zuletzt 1979) außerhalb Ostschwabens so gut wie nicht greifbar ist. [Internet Archive]

Die einzelnen Denkmale werden im Bild und mit ihrer Inschrift vorgestellt. Literaturangaben ermöglichen es, die Angaben zu überprüfen. Erfasst wurden auch Grabmale von Männern aus den folgenden verschwägerten Adelsfamilien: Thürheim, Heygersdorff, Racknitz, Wessem, Blick von Rothenburg, Grafeneck zu Kaltenburg, Diemantstein zu Trochtelfingen, Adelmann von Adelmannsfelden, Rechberg von Hohenrechberg.

Den Anhang bilden: ein alphabetisches Wappenverzeichnis mit Abbildungen, eine Übersicht zu den Initialen und Wappen in der Essinger Quirinuskirche, Register (Personen, Orte, Bibelstellen) und das Abbildungs- und Autorenverzeichnis.

Dass der Ursprung des Geschlechts ausgeklammert wird, ist nicht zu tadeln. 1991 schrieb ich in der Rezension der Regesten von Norbert Hofmann2: “Ansprechend ist die Vermutung, der 1409 gestorbene Georg von Woellwarth habe in italienischen Söldnerdiensten das Vermögen erworben, mit dem er sich innerhalb weniger Jahre (nach 1363) in unserem Raum etablieren konnte (S. 13). Damit wäre “der kometenhafte Aufstieg der Woellwarth im Gebiet zwischen oberer Rems und oberer Jagst” (H. Baumhauer, ostalb/einhorn 1979 S. 289) erklärt. Dieser Georg, der auch in enge Beziehungen zu den Grafen von Württemberg und dem Kloster Lorch trat, muß als der eigentliche Stammvater der Familie gelten. Denn daß ein genealogischer Zusammenhang zwischen der 1140 erstmals in einer Berchtesgadener Urkunde erwähnten edelfreien Familie, die sich nach der Burg Wellwart bei Harburg nannte, und diesem Georg und seinen Nachkommen besteht, kann meines Erachtens, legt man einen strengen Maßstab an, nicht als erwiesen gelten. Das Namensgut der älteren Familie (Eberhard, Otto) tritt nämlich bei den Nachkommen Georgs nicht mehr auf und selbst wenn man zugesteht, die Familie habe durch Verarmung ihren Altbesitz im Ries eingebüßt, bleibt ein eigenartiges Faktum zu erklären: Ein mittelfränkischer Niederadliger, Erkinger Relch, verzichtete 1364 zugunsten Georgs von Woellwarth für sich und seine Erben auf das bisher von ihm geführte Wappen (Nr. 126), das in einer etwas früheren Urkunde (Nr. 125) als ein “roter Halbmond im weißen Feld” beschrieben wird. Wer ein Wappen erwirbt, hat doch ersichtlich ein Prestigedefizit! Es gibt genügend Beispiele dafür, daß sich nach dem Sitz einer edelfreien Familie später mit dieser nicht verwandte niederadlige Familien nannten”.

Natürlich könnte man an der einen oder anderen Stelle Korrekturen oder Ergänzungen anbringen. Zur Eheverbindung Woellwarth-Warbeck müssten S. 65 und 98 die gleichen Literaturangaben aufgeführt werden. Vermisst wird mein Beitrag zur Familiengeschichte der Warbeck 1986. Mangelnde Recherche verrät auch das Fehlen der grundlegenden, ebenfalls online verfügbaren Arbeit von Helmut Lausser zu Friedrich von Grafeneck (Epitaph in Höchstädt, S. 109).

  1. Eher unkritisch und ohne die nötigen Nachweise: Hans-Wolfgang Bächle: Das Adelsgeschlecht der Woellwarth, 2010 (UB Heidelberg). []
  2. Einführung, Regesten und Digitalisate der Urkunden sind online verfügbar:
    http://www.landesarchiv-bw.de/plink/?f=2-4478&a=fb. []
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