The diaries and daily notes of the cardinal Ernst Adalbert of Harrach (1598-1667). Edition and commentary
the last years one can observe all over Europe, that in historical
researches cultural history, questions for cultural aspects of traditional
problems play an increasing role. In this context, new types of
sources are outed and well known sources are relectured in new ways.
Ego documents, autobiographical writings like letters, chronicles,
autobiographies, diaries and so on
occupy an important place among these types of sources. Our project
pursues the intention to make available such a source for scientific
research. Simultaneously we will set first steps in the analysis
of an exceptional source, the diaries and daily notes of cardinal
54 year’s issues of diaries came down to us and they are a first-rate
source not only for the history of the Habsburg monarchy during
the reigns of Ferdinand II and Ferdinand III, which are documented
in archives not very well. But because of their proportions, their
differentiation as regards content and their meaningfulness, the
diaries are a source of importance over and above Central Europe.
The daily notes document the daily life of a single aristocrat and
high dignitary of the Church as well as they make visible a system
of exchange of informations inside aristocratic circles of family
and friendship between Vienna, Rome and Prague. The cardinal Harrach
was a mediator, an agent with regard to this system of exchange.
Therefore, the daily notes are not only documents which make discernible
scopes of action for one person in there office, in family contexts
or in the aristocratic society of the Habsburg lands. In the notices
of cardinal Harrach one can find also European politics and developments
in the Habsburg lands like cultural influences from Italy and Central
Europe and remarks about counterreformation and “Pietas austriaca”.
In particular, the diversity of contents ist characteristic of the
Harrach diaries. Because of this, they would be a source for many
fields of researches and historical sciences: German studies and
philology, romance languages and literature (27 year’s issues of
diaries are written in italian language) will find here material
just as art history, history of theatre and music, history of medicine,
folklore and researches of historical climate. Nevertheless, the
project will put not only a meaningful and differentiated source
at the disposal of historical research. With the volume of comments
the project also comprises first steps of analysis for different
aspects and historical categorizing of content of the source. In
this context, the analysis of the diaries and daily notices will
brake new ground in historical sciences in Austria.