The Hessian Archive Prize 2009 was awarded in that year to the Document collection of the Herder Institute in Marburg. This Document collection is the largest archive in Germany that deals with the history of the Baltic states and is being looked after at the Herder Institute by Dorothee M. Goeze M.A. and Dr. Peter Wörster. The award ceremony took place on November 26 in the Hessian State Archives in Marburg and was attended by the Secretary of State Gerd Krämer from the Ministry for Science and Arts.
The prize was donated by the Sparkasse Cultural Trust and sponsored jointly with the Hessian branch of the Federal Society of German Archivists. It is aimed at smaller, non-governmental, in particular communal, archives as well as the archives of scientific organisations in Hessia with full-time managers. The aim of the prize, which has been awarded annually since 2005, is to stress the importance of archives dedicated to the research of regional history and, equally, archives which aim to address socio-political issues. The award entails prize money of 5.000,- Euros, which must go towards the development of the archive.
In his laudation, Dr. Thomas Wurzel, director of the Sparkasse Cultural Trust for Hessia and Thuringia, emphasised in particular the outstanding achievement in the area of protection of cultural assets through the transfer and indexing of extensive archive material from private written records. These include the Archive for Baltic Knighthoods, which was transferred in 2006 as well as the preservation and development of archive material, which was filmed in Latvia and Estonia in 1940 and was subsequently partly lost due to the events of war. These are invaluable resources for Baltic history, in particular German-Baltic history, and they represent a substantial challenge due to the demands of their storage, indexing and making them available for research.
(taken from a press conference of the Hessia and Thuringia Sparkasse Cultural Trust)
Pictures: Wolfgang Schekanski