Society for Rhenish History

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Society for Rhenish History
purpose Research into the history of the Rhineland
Chair: Frank M. Bischoff
Establishment date: 1881
Seat : Heumarkt 14, 50667 Cologne
Website: Homepage of the company

The Gesellschaft für Rheinische Geschichtskunde is a history-researching association dedicated to the regional history of the former Prussian Rhine Province . It was founded on June 1, 1881 on the initiative of the industrialist Gustav von Mevissen .

As early as 1868, Mevissen, together with Heinrich von Sybel, considered an umbrella association for the regional associations, an "Association for Rhenish-Westphalian History". In the early days, the board members were mostly professors of the history seminar at Bonn University . The board members also included Karl Lamprecht , Karl Menzel , Moriz Ritter , Wilhelm Maurenbrecher and Arnold Schaefer . “Rhenish” meant the Prussian Rhine Province. Lamprecht drew up a conception for the work of society, which should primarily concentrate on the traditional “material culture”, that is, social and economic history and legal history ( land records, documents, city rights and the like). Since he was only a private lecturer at the time and did not have the necessary experience to manage such a project, he had resigned from the edition project itself.

The Gesellschaft für Rheinische Geschichtskunde supports research on Rhineland history by editing its sources. The projects include the Rheinische Lebensbilder, published since 1961 on the initiative of Bernhard Poll , and the Historical Atlas of the Rhineland, published from 1982 to 2008 . It essentially follows the original conceptual guidelines to this day. The company is based in Cologne. The company works closely with the Rhineland Regional Council. The President of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Archives , Frank M. Bischoff , has been its chairman since 2016 .

The company was originally supported by private foundations, but today it is primarily financed by the public sector, although private foundations continue to flow into it.


  • Publications of the Society for Rhenish History. 47 vols. Düsseldorf: Droste, 1884–2012.
  • Prize publications from the Mevissen Foundation
  • History of the Rhineland from the earliest times to the present . By H (ermann) Aubin , Th (eodor) Frings , J (oseph) Hansen [among others] Vol. 1 (Political History) and Vol. 2 (Cultural History). Essen ad R .: Baedecker, 1922.
  • Rhenish dictionary . On the basis of a collection started by J (ohannes) Frank and supported by all circles of the Rhenish people. Vol. 1-8. Edited by Josef Müller, Vol. 9 by Heinrich Dittmaier. 9 vols. Bonn [later Berlin]: Klopp, 1928–1971.
  • Rhenish images of life . 18 vols. Bonn [later Cologne]: Rheinland-Verlag, 1961–2000.

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