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Journal > Volumes > 34 (2003) / 1 (Spring)
The Supreme Court of the Holy Roman Empire: The State of Research and the Outlook
Ralf-Peter Fuchs
Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat Munich

The Supreme Court {Reichskammergericht} of the Holy Roman Empire, which existed from 1495 to 1806, was besides the Aulic Court (Reichshofrat) in Vienna the highest judicial instance in the so-called Old Empire. For a long time it has been lamented that the Supreme Court's acts, preserved at Wetzlar, the court's final seat, had been distributed among several archives of the German states in the nineteenth century. An inventory project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, in which many state archives and local archives of the Federal Republic of Germany had taken part, has now produced a new base for historical research. Within this project several detailed printed repertories were published. Thanks to modern communications media, it would even be possible in the near future to produce a virtual Supreme Court archive. This article offers an overview of new writings on the Supreme Court since the 1970s and describes the trend of current research. Furthermore, it describes the structure of the inventories of the acts of the Supreme Court and, finally, the genres of sources the acts contain.

Pages: 9 - 27