Digital Legal History
Digital resources are important tools for research in the Humanities, nowadays. Starting with bibliographical reference systems and digital reviews they go all the way to databases with searchable text and image bases. The MPIeR recognised this development already at an early stage and became an active player by offering sources relevant for legal history, which resulted from a series of digitisation projects. Printed material is converted into digital form and enriched with extensive metadata to improve its accessibility. The goal of this efforts is to provide researchers – both, within the institute and outside of it - with stable long term access to these materials, which can be examined at any time and any place of the globe on the internet. The digital library of the MPIeR connects the results of several digitisation projects. It is conceived as an offering closely oriented on the needs of the research community and strictly following Open Access principles.
The emphasis is currently on sources for the legal history of the 19th century: Literary sources on the civil law and the regulations governing civil law suits in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the one hand and juridical journals on the other.
The coverage of the collection of juridical journals is extended by a current project to those starting in the period 1703–1830; another current project prepares a digital collection of legal sources for the Heilige Römische Reich Deutscher Nation , which shall be developed further into a virtual knowledge space Reichsrecht.
The institute participates in the project DRQEdit - Deutschsprachige Rechtsquellen des 16. Jahrhunderts in digitaler Edition , which is mainly organised by the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Forschungsstelle Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch. For other projects dealing with the digitisation of content relevant for legal history the institute has been available as a partner in the past, too, and it has the firm intention to remain so in the future.