The "Güterurkunden" (property deeds) relating to rural land ownership in the region that would later become the Duchy of Courland – primarily feudal, purchase and pledge deeds, documents on marriage settlements, boundary surveys, court disputes, annuity transactions, etc. – were never included in the publication of The Livonian, Estonian and Courlandic Deed Book. Thus, this editing project has allowed a so far largely unexplored collection of sources to be presented. The time frame covered by the edition extends from the year of the first surviving documents (1230) to the end of the Old Livonian independence in 1561.
The starting point for the editing project, which was financially supported by the Frankfurt Marga and Kurt Möllgaard Foundation and was carried out – intermittently – from April 1998 to the end of March 2003, was a manuscript by the German-Baltic historian Albert Bauer (DSHI 100 Bauer, 010-013) housed in the document collection of the Herder Institute. Bauer had collected relevant source material from various archives in the 1930s and 1950s (a total of 522 document numbers, 381 of which contain text). Within the framework of the project, these documents were collated using the originals or photographs as a basis and then edited using critical document-processing methodology; in addition, numerous further pieces were gathered from archives in Berlin,
, Stockholm, Marburg and Copenhagen and incorporated into the corpus of documents, so that the edition comprises almost 1,100 relevant documents. The project was led by Apl. Prof. Dr. Klaus Neitmann. Daphne Schadewaldt was the project editor.
Rīga (republikas pilsēta)
deu. Riga (Republik-Stadt)