Pauper Letters and Petitions for Poor Relief in Germany and Great Britain, 1770-1914

Gestrich, Andreas GND; King, Steven GND

For over two decades historical research has shown a new and stronger interest in life testimonies (ego-documents) of the lower classes, i.e. of people who could not, or normally did not, write, especially about themselves. In this context a type of source has met with increasing interest in in recent years, namely, letters, applications, and petitions written by or for paupers to their home parish in order to apply for relief. This project proposes to collect and edit on-line a substantial corpus of these narratives. In addition, it will analyse these texts in a framework which allows regional as well as international comparisons. The project is jointly directed by Prof Andreas Gestrich (German Historical Institute London) and Prof Steven A. King (University of Leicester). This Project was supported (2011-2014) by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

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