Introduction to the Virtual Archive

Due to the dissolution of the Lorsch Abbey during the Reformation and the manifold territorial and political changes until recent times, the Lorsch archival records found their way into numerous archives. In order to advance further research into the history of the abbey and all the aspects associated with it, it is necessary to digitally bring together the archival records required for this purpose. The early period of the monastery has been extensively researched, and the necessary documents are generally available in editions and registers. The period since the loss of the imperial immediacy in 1232, however, has been rather neglected historiographically.

Therefore, the focus of the archival documents collected here is on the latter period. The starting point for the selection of the documents was the Lorsch Cartulary and the excerpts collected therein. They provide an insight into the monastic income and rights at the moment of the dissolution of the institution, which was now to disappear as a religious community but continue to exist as a property complex. Finally, going beyond the Lorsch Cartulary, archival documents were sought that also provide information about the history of the monastery. Thus, this database contains pieces in which Lorsch Abbey appears as an issuer or recipient, is thematised as an object of action, or is mentioned in some other role, as well as archival documents that were of political relevance to the ecclesiastical institution. In the course of this research, numerous church and municipal archives were consulted in addition to the relevant state archives. With the sources found, the primary aim was to attempt to reconstruct the monastery archive as such - complementary to the monastic library. Since medieval monasteries usually had recipient archives, those documents were included in the reconstructed archive in which Lorsch Abbey can be clearly identified as the recipient. However, we know too little to make clear statements about the structure of the actual Lorsch Abbey archive. Therefore - and also in order to optimize the value of this database for historical research - this core of archival records has been supplemented by other thematically relevant ones. Of course, it will probably never be possible to unite all documents related to the history of an institution of this size. Nevertheless, this should be a beginning which, with good will, may grow and flourish, since this compilation of sources provides manifold points of contact for the various historical disciplines: be it for economic, social, personal, religious or political history and, especially with regard to regional and state history, whereby this project offers a not inconsiderable contribution to the study of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region.

Notes on use

The reproduction of the document contents takes place in the form of short regesta. The guidelines of the Archivschule Marburg (PDF) served as a guideline, whereby the following applies to the transcriptions: reproduction true to the letter while retaining upper and lower case, punctuation (as far as it is evident) as well as hyphenation.

In order to ensure the greatest possible density of information, all persons and locations mentioned in the documents, including field names, were nevertheless included in the registry. Only in the case of three documents was it necessary to refrain from including all persons and locations due to their size (Darmstadt, Hessisches Staatsarchiv, Bestand A 1 Nr. 18/21; Karlsruhe, Generallandesarchiv, Bestand 43, Nr. 5636; Munich, Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Geheimes Hausarchiv, Mannheimer Urkunden, Mainz, Nr. 4).

Care was taken to reproduce the archival documents as completely as possible in digital form. Unfortunately, the backs or seals of some documents could not be made available as scans.