Travel Accounts digital: Saxony in Travel Accounts of the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

Gottlob Friedrich Krebel, Die vornehmsten europäischen Reisen, Hamburg 1741, Titelblatt und Frontispiz. SLUB

Project Management: Frank Metasch, Winfried Müller, Maximilian Gasch
Technical Implematation: Hendrik Keller, Michael Schmidt

For quite some time, the genre of travel accounts has been an object of literature historical and cultural historical research of pre-modern time. In the Middle German region with its great long-distance routes, like the via regia in particular, the most various forms and motives of travel can be found. Travel accounts emerging from this situation have always been more than just information on the travel itineraries, but were, at the same time, when the travelers observed the space they crossed, always a mirror of their imagination of otherness. In the era of Enlightenment, travel accounts were in no way free from stereotyped notions, but extended to a rigorous criticism of unenlightened conditions. At the same time, they made public the political and social conditions they came upon. It is especially this multitude of facets that makes the corpus of travel literature so interesting to research.

In 2012, Winfried Müller published a comprehensive bibliography of about 250 printed travel accounts in the “Neues Archiv für sächsische Geschichte”[New Archive of Saxon History”], and indexed it according to places. This publication serves as a starting point for further academic analysis of travel accounts touching or describing Saxony rsp. Middle Germany. To achieve this, a list was compiled for each bibliographical unit of all places that were described extensively or just mentioned occasionally. The great caesura in traffic technology marked by the railway construction, and the deep-reaching changes of travel that came with it, marks the closing point in time. In a further step, the bibliography that was kept open to supplements from its beginning has been transferred into a data bank in order to facilitate the digital options.

The intended online version of the Saxon travel accounts is meant to offer considerably wider and faster research options. Using a survey of places, not only those works will be indicated where the place in question lies next to respective travel route. In cooperation with the Saxon State – and University Library, for example, it is possible to link directly to the digital copy of the travel accounts in question or even to visualize the travel routes on digital maps was well.


Last updated: Monday, 26. February 2024