Neue Zugänge zu Inventaren als Quellen für die kultur- und konsumgeschichtliche Forschung.
With the renewed interest in material culture, not only the objects but also the written sources in which objects are documented get more and more attention. However, the focus is most often not directed to the sources themselves but rather to the information they convey on objects of the past. Such an approach tends to reduce the sources to mere „quarries“ for information thus neglecting the specific characteristics of the sources. The new approaches of cultural history and history of consumption have seen a new rise of studies in inventories. Some earlier works resulted from the ongoing interest in inventories as legal sources and as sources for the history of castles. Vital impulses have also come from research on so-called pragmatic writings (Pragmatische Schriftlichkeit). The most recent studies pay attention to the fact that inventories like other texts do not give a complete or objective picture of the historical facts, but that they have to be regarded as narratives with their own fictional character. Finally, new editions and specific studies on types of inventories as well as new applications from the field of Digital Humanities add to the current research situation.
The volume takes this dynamic situation as a starting point to reflect on current methodological approaches to inventories in an international panorama. Scholars from the Italian, French, Portuguese, German, Austrian, and British context contribute to a more systematic understanding of inventories as sources with their specific qualities and challenges. Contributors reflect on the specific textual quality of the sources as well as on their material aspects as objects themselves and discuss methodological approaches in use such as for instance classical auxiliary sciences, quantitative methods, cultural historical approaches, textual analysis or literary theory.