Kurland Property Records
This publication entitled “Kurland Property Records” opens up an essential source on Livonian history of the late Middle Ages and Reformation period, and makes these materials available and usable for research. In particular, it provides new insights on matters relating to economic, social and population history.
In cooperation with Klaus Neitmann (Baltic Historical Commission Göttingen/Potsdam), edited by Daphne Schadewaldt.
The “property records”, which concern rural land tenure during the latter period of the Duchy of Kurland, are primarily fiefdom documents, bills of sale, and mortgage deeds as well as documents relating to, among other things, marriage agreements, boundary inspections, judicial disputes, and annuity business. These are documents that were omitted when the Livonian, Estonian and Kurland record book was published, so this edition presents a collection of sources that have, until now, remained largely unknown. The publication covers the time period from the year 1230, when the first documents were handed down, until the end of Livonian independence in 1526.
The publication project received financial support from the Marga and Kurt Möllgaard Foundation in Frankfurt am Main, and the work was carried out, at intervals, from April 1998 until the end of March 2003. The editing process began with the rediscovery of a manuscript by German-Baltic historian Albert Bauer, which was held in the Institute’s document collection. In the 1930s and 1950s, Bauer had gathered a large number of significant source materials from various archives (522 documents in total, 381 of which contained text). As part of the project, originals and/or photographs of these documents were collated, processed and edited using a critical methodology, and numerous additional pieces from archives in Berlin, Riga, Stockholm, and Copenhagen were collected and incorporated. The resulting publication contains close to 1,100 relevant and significant documents.
The text of the records is in german.