‘Finance, law and the language of governmental practice in late medieval towns: Aberdeen and Augsburg in comparison’ (FLAG) is a new project to investigate two recently created digital resources from urban archives in Scotland and Germany. The project, organised by Jörg Rogge (Mainz) and Jackson Armstrong (Aberdeen), is funded by a joint research grant from the Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
Preceding collaborative projects have created digital transcriptions of the textual contents of different types of urban administrative record – the mainly financial ledger books of Augsburg (1320-1466/70) (www.augsburger-baumeisterbuecher.de) and the mainly legal council registers of Aberdeen (1398-1511) (www.aberdeenregisters.org). The opportunity now (until March 2023) is to place these resources in comparison and undertake deep historically driven analysis of their content, and simultaneously to develop the ways in which German and Scottish historiographies of the medieval period can benefit from more direct academic dialogue.
The examination will address the following aspects of the Augsburg and Aberdeen records: (1) what were the terminology and ideas of financial administration active in both towns; (2) what were the terminology and ideas of legal-juridical administration (again, in both towns); in both cases asking was there a shared vocabulary of governance, particularly concerning law and finance; and (3) how best to address the methodological challenge of a structured comparison of these two XML data sets.