Die Edition der Kulmer Stadtbücher


  • Dieter Heckmann




The strategic plan of the Copernicus-Vereinigung, a scholarly organisation devoted to the regional history of West Prussia, to edit the four yet unpublished civic registers (Stadtbuch) out of a total of ten surviving from late-medieval Kulm (Chełmno), was motivated to no small degree by the intention of demonstrating that Prussia constituted an integral part of the Hanse. However, the editorial principles employed by the editors of the six volumes which have appeared hitherto were anything but unitary. Hence, it is greatly to be desired that future editors orient themselves according to modern editorial guidelines. Moreover, there is much work to be done on standardizing seemingly minor technical matters: the capitalization of words, the typographical representation of Siamese-twin letters (when to transcribe a scribal mark as ‘sz’ and when as ‘ß’), superimposed letters (ue) and redundant double consonants, on the abbreviations for various currencies and the description of the scribal hands. This article is intended as a contribution towards generating a common set of principles – a standard tool-kit, if you will – for editing Hanseatic civic registers.