(jh/pcp-wm) It is time for new impulses in post-historical research. A look at the last 50 years shows a strong dynamic.

This resulted in cataloguing of postmarks, discovery of the letter and its postal complexity, analysis of letters on the basis of postal contracts to the description of fees and notations. At this stage there was no progress in sight for a long time.

The digitization of images and improved database programs created a completely new situation, which helped to open up large correspondences in the archives. This led to the development of special database formats and the technology of correspondence analysis. At the same time, archive work changed decisively. Whereas in the past it was difficult to manually copy or costly to photocopy documents, now even extensive files can be digitised in a short period of time.

From these two sides, research received an enormous boost. Instead of random letters, there are now hundreds, even thousands available, which initiate a broad field of analytical questions and, together with newly developed archival records, lead to sustainable results. And the interplay between the two areas opens unprecedented possibilities for research.

However, it is not the case that all the factors necessary for describing a post-historical situation are always equally meaningful. In some cases, the archival sources are rich, but relevant letters are missing, or vice versa.
On the one hand, ten exciting contributions shed light on a significant period of European history from a post-historical point of view, but on the other hand they also reflect these different source situations and search for suitable questions and results. Topics of the contributions: England – Austria, routes of the letter post 1814-1818; Metternich’s system of postal surveillance; censorship of letters during the reign of the 100 days; the postal exchange from Salzburg to Trieste 1787; the postal treaty Prussia – Reichspost 1803; display of Duderstadt; redirection England to France 1779 to 1783; redirection of letters to Sardinia 1821 to 1824; from the Türkey; envelope money.

Dates: Published in the MICHEl series “mehrWissen”, size 17 x 24 cm, 192 pages, in colour, hardcover, retail price: 39,80 Euro. ISBN 978-3-95402-309-7 Available in specialist and book shops.

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