Opportunities for Local History Research

Parish manuscript volumes are irreplaceable, unique sources. It does not need much explanation how useful a well kept parish Historia Domus can be when writing a settlement’s history. Nevertheless, the whereabouts of  these unique sources are often unknown or they are generally hardly accessible. By digitizing them we try to protect them from being disturbed unnecessarily, from being ”lent” carelessly and causelessly, and, at the same time we ensure their availablity for a wide public. These sources are good supplements to the parish correspondance documents held in the AAK’s central collection, because the official correspondance between the archdiocese and the parish priests generally does not contain the summaries, memorandums jotted down in the manuscrip volumes. By the combined usage of the archives’ parish-related documents and the parishes’ manuscript volumes an excellent opportunity opens for local historiography.
When browsing the individual parish volumes the characteristics of each settlement becomes distinct. In some places we find a large amount of school related material (school board minutes, faculty minutes, school vital records), in an other place diaries of several decades of homestead visitation catch our eyes. For some places the handwritten archdiocesan circulars from the feudal era were rewritten in several volumes, in thick protocols, for others we don’t find similar sources. Unfortunately, some documents have decayed over the last decades, too, but the picture has never been uniform, local differences, characteristics always existed. We generally disregarded the economy-related, mass sources (ecclesiastic tax sheets, cash-books, handling of foundation funds), we digitalized only a few special or old pieces.