Printed eulogies or funeral sermons dating back to the two centuries between 1550 and 1750, gained huge significance regarding the exploration of Early Modern history next to its initial form as funeral sermons of the Protestant upper- and middleclass. The eulogies contain more or less extensive biographies and therefore constitute one of the most meaningful types of historical sources corresponding to a human’s life and death between reformation and enlightenment. Already in the 17th century, funeral sermons were printed in huge numbers and subsequently collected as collectibles. Therefore, more than 300,000 of these sources have been preserved in libraries and archives.
After having indexed and filmed the archival inventories located in Hesse, Saxony, and Silesia, the focus of research is currently situated in Thuringia. In 2009, the project began to digitize the film archive. Funeral sermons are multi as well as inter disciplinary sources. Thus, they are of interest for a wide range of different disciplines. Historians of all kinds (e.g. Literary history, art history, as well as history of medicine and pharmacy), theologians as well as specialists in German studies may be able to use funeral sermons as rich sources for their respective research. The website www.personalschriften.de reports in great detail about the project’s activities and gathers names, places, and occupations in several data bases to enable further research.