The research project approaches a varied range of sources that represent the multifaceted corpus of Jewish educational media, which is, alongside Jewish periodicals, probably the only genre of historical literature which provides such a fruitful insight into the processes of social cohesion and cultural transformation that shaped the lifeworlds (Lebenswelten) of German-speaking Jewry between 1750 and 1850. In the course of their work, the researchers assembled in this project will be collecting bibliographical and biographical information related to these sources, information that will serve as the foundation of a research database.
The database is intended to systematically bring together bibliographical and biographical information and to serve as a point of interface with existing digital collections. It will thus contribute significantly to research on Jewish history and to other fields of historical research, in particular educational history. It will provide access to Jewish educational media as sources for comparative research; above and beyond its informative character, we intend it to offer systematic insights into a fascinating corpus of historical sources which may act as stimuli to new and innovative research on Jewish and educational history.
The database will be developed on the basis of cooperation between the Georg Eckert Institute and the Judaica Collection of the Frankfurt University Library, whose holdings comprise the largest collection of Judaica and Hebraica in Germany and which has already been involved in numerous digitalisation projects, many of them of an innovative nature. In March 2014 a small workshop took place at which the participants discussed the concept for the database and possible sources of funding. Further steps are in preparation.