Peter Rauscher, Andrea Serles: The Danube Trade in the 17th and 18th centuries: Digital Editions of Mass Sources. Abstract # 7 (random order)

“The history of transport and trade in early modern Upper and Lower Austria lacks large-scale data to reconstruct trade cycles, commercial networks, transport systems, and the change of consumption habits. Mass sources like toll registers are very rare for this region and the few known series have been used rarely. Previous historical research focused on single years and/or commodities but did not edit account books to analyze long-term economic changes. The main reason for this research gap was the lack of technical solutions to handle huge amounts of data since traditional book editions seemed to be unpractical. This situation changed with the possibilities of modern databases.

Since 2008, several projects try to make the main sources of Austrian trading history accessible to the public. The first series of account book published in an online database were the registers of the City scale and of the staple fees (Waag- und Niederlagsbücher) of the City of Krems in Lower Austria.[1] These 28 books –conserved for the period from 1621 to 1737– contain the names and places of origin of the merchants operating in Krems as one of the main emporia of the trade between the Austrian Danube region and its neighboring countries (German territories, Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, Poland). The most important and extensive source for the Danube trade are the toll registers of Aschach in Upper Austria (Protokolle der Maut zu Aschach). This series of 194 books of account contain the traffic on the river, the transported goods and their owners for the period between 1627 and 1775.[2] Since 2013 these books are edited in a database which will be published 2016.

Our paper will present the trading region of the Upper Danube discussing the main sources and the possibilities to present large quantities of data searchable through an online database.”

[1] Peter Rauscher, Andrea Serles, Die Waag- und Niederlagsbücher der Stadt Krems 1621–1737: http://www.univie.ac.at/donauhandel/edition-kremser-waag-und-niederlagsbucher/.

[2] Peter Rauscher, Andrea Serles, Die Protokolle der Maut zu Aschach: http://www.univie.ac.at/donauhandel/edition-der-aschacher-mautregister/.

 

Peter Rauscher, Andrea Serles (Austrian Institute of Historical Research/Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung (Vienna/Wien)

Presentation: Oct 22, 5.00-5.20 p.m., Haus der Begegnung [PROGRAMME]

 

Picture credits: Danube landscape near Vienna ca 1760, Johann Christian Brand [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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