The project ‘Regesta Imperii – Regesta of Emperor Frederick III (1440–1493)’ records all documents and letters of this emperor, arranged by the archives or libraries in which they are preserved.
Imperial documents are among the most important sources for mediaeval studies, because the people who represented the head of the legal and judicial order in the Empire. These texts’ function of defining the law gave them an important role in shaping imperial power, and they offer authentic, contemporary descriptions of political processes as they happened, in chronological and geographical sequence. The documents reflect all areas of public life, making them important objects of research in mediaeval studies, diplomatics, palaeography, German studies and economic or legal history.
For Frederick III, it is estimated that there are 50,000 documents and letters, so they will not be printed in full, but instead published as ‘regesta’, sorted by archive and library. Regesta consist of a comprehensive description of the contents of the document, with the date and place of issue, a description of its form and a scholarly apparatus with information on the way in which it has been preserved, bibliographical references and indices.
The Berlin research board collaborates as part of a Joint Academy Project with the Deutsche Kommission für die Bearbeitung der Regesta Imperii (German Commission for the Compilation of the Regesta Imperii) in Mainz and with the Vienna research office of the Regesta Imperii. The volumes of regesta, published at relatively short intervals by these research offices, present new results for research, which are then promptly made available online too, as part of the Regesta Imperii Online.
The Academy research project “Regesta Imperii – the Regesta of Emperor Frederick III, 1440–1493” is part of the Academies' Programme , a research funding programme co-financed by the German federal government and individual federal states. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities , the Programme intends to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible and highlight its relevance to the present, as well as to preserve it for the future.