Doing Legal History
Any form of history needs reflection on its methods and practices. It needs tools, it needs to provide research with these tools, and it needs to think about how to communicate its own work appropriately.
At the level of the Institute, this reflection on methods and practices is carried out in activities such as the colloquium and in the joint Research Field Legal Historiography. Researchers in all departments and research groups also engage with the opportunities and challenges of Digital Humanities and apply these methods in their own research.
In addition to that, at the level of the Department Historical Regimes of Normativity, we strive to publish introductions into legal historical research, especially in the publication series methodica - Introductions to Legal Historical Research, edited by researchers of the Department. We publish tools such as bibliographies (ssrn subsidia et instrumenta), translations of important sources and literature. In addition to the presentations of research in the monthly departmental meetings, a seminar on Methods of Legal History and topic-specific working groups are the most important forums for discussion in the Department.
Finally, a special concern is to present the results, methods, and practices of legal historical research in various media formats. We do this primarily through the blog Legal History Insights and in the context of projects such as Transmedia HistoryTelling.
The increased effort to address this dimension of our work, especially through the latter two activities, has led to the establishment of this new Research Field in 2021.