This project undertakes a systematic survey of the tens of thousands of letters written by and addressed to learned physicians in the German-speaking area between 1500 and 1700, which have come down to us in numerous libraries and archives in Germany and abroad. These letters, many of which have gone unnoticed so far in historical scholarship, are valuable sources for the study of a wide range of topics, from learned networks and the dissemination new medical findings and theories to the mentalities, the professional lives and the domestic affairs of the urban upper classes in general. The metadata (author, recipient, date, place, library/archive, shelfmark) for every single letter is entered into a database. Moreover, for thousands of these letters a detailed summary of the content or at least an abstract is provided. The database is freely accessible via internet (www.aerztebriefe.de).
Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
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