Theme for 2021: Archives
The mpilhlt’s monthly Colloquium is intended as a forum for all researchers at the Institute to discuss conceptual questions, methods and current debates in legal history. It provides a space for mutual exchange and the cross-fertilisation of ideas across departmental boundaries, but also serves as an opportunity for researchers to identify their own position within disciplinary and wider scholarly trends and debates. Finally, one of its key purposes is the development of a common frame of reference for discussions among the researchers of the Institute.
The Colloquium’s theme for the first half of the academic year 2021 is ‘Archives'.
Working with archives is one of the main features of (legal) historical research. But the use of archival sources for the production of historical knowledge is by no means trivial or unconditional; it follows certain practices that have a history of their own and are shaped by interests and conditions outside the archive. At the same time, archives themselves are products of history that are closely linked to law and knowledge about the law. While the creation and administration of an archive were already accompanied by extensive legal and archival scholarship since the early modern period, the conditions under which archives were created and used have attracted the interest of the historical and legal sciences over the past 30 years, so that one has already spoken of an archival turn. In a series of lectures in the first half of 2021, the MPIeR Colloquium would like to take a look at these developments and current debates to not only methodically reflect on the significance of archives in our research, but also to provide practical guidance. The topics of the series of events will therefore include the history of archives, the emergence and use of colonial archives, aspects of archive law, archival sciences as a discipline and professional field, as well as archives and digitization.
To facilitate in-depth discussion after their 45-minute presentation, speakers are asked to circulate a relevant text (paper / book chapter) by themselves or another author in advance. Discussion will start with with a brief comment on the text by one member of the Institute.