Historical commission for Hessen

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Historical Commission for Hesse
(HiKo Hessen)
purpose Research into the history of Hessen
Chair: Andreas Hedwig
Manager: Regina Hoffmann
Establishment date: 1897
Number of members: 205 (as of November 2017)
Seat : Friedrichsplatz 15
35037 Marburg
Website: www.hiko-hessen.de

The Historical Commission for Hesse (formerly the Historical Commission for Hesse and Waldeck ) is a scientific society that has the task of researching the history of Hesse , its former territories and the landscapes historically connected to it, and to publish the research results. It was founded in 1897.


The driving force behind the founding of the Historical Commission for Hesse was Goswin Freiherr von der Ropp , Professor of Middle and Modern History at the University of Marburg . The historical commission should mediate between university and regional research. It should also be ruled out that it would compete with the Monumenta Germaniae Historica founded by Heinrich Friedrich Karl vom und zum Stein in 1819 .

On July 10, 1897, the Historical Commission for Hesse and Waldeck was founded at the University of Marburg with "unlimited right to self-determination". The founding meeting decided on the task and purpose and summarized them in statutes. It should publish " sources and representations of Hessian and Waldeck history in a way that corresponds to the demands of science ".

Despite previous suggestions and efforts by the Association for Hessian History and Regional Studies in Kassel and the Upper Hessian History Association in Gießen , the Historical Commission was founded independently of both historical associations.


The seat of the commission: The Hessian State Archives Marburg


The commission is based in Marburg and has traditionally been closely associated with the Hessian State Archives in Marburg . Its chairman, the executive board, the main committee and the general assembly are the organs of the commission.

Members are founders, patrons and scientific members. These form the general assembly and are appointed by it; scientific members are co-opted on the basis of scientific merits. Donors and patrons can be institutions or persons that promote the goals of the commission. As a rule, these are local authorities , church institutions, associations, companies, historical societies or museums from the area of ​​activity of the commission. As of November 2019, the commission comprises six board members, 25 members of the main committee and a total of more than 200 scientific members.

The executive board consists of the chairman, treasurer and secretary as well as their respective deputies. The executive board takes care of the day-to-day business and is responsible to the general assembly for the management. There are also two specialist working committees “Basics and Perspectives of State History” and “Contemporary History”.

The commission received donations and donations from public and private sources. There are also targeted financial contributions to individual projects, such as B. the printing of document books. Regular contributions arise from the circle of patrons and donors. Annual cash reports reveal the financial management of the commission, are presented to the general assembly and published in the annual reports.

Today's work

In the more than 100 years of its existence, the commission has remained politically and religiously independent and exclusively scientifically oriented. It was able to maintain its independence and, in spite of state subsidies, has not been transferred to a state research center like other initiatives.

Initially, the commission mainly edited and published sources. This was later supplemented by the publication of monographs , individual studies and biographies .

The NG Elwert-Verlag in Marburg was as up to 2010 Kommissionsverlag worked for the Historical Commission for Hesse; since then the historical commission has been self-publishing . The main series are the publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse (88 volumes up to 2018); there are also the writings of the Hessian State Archives in Marburg (32 volumes up to 2016). The Handbook of Hessian History has been published in individual volumes since 2003 (5 volumes until 2018).

Only the monographs on Hessian cultural history were published earlier by Deutscher Kunstverlag , the 19th century letters by Erich Schmidt Verlag . The sources and research on the Hessian history (178 volumes to 2018) are together with the Hessian Historical Commission Darmstadt in Selbstverlag issued. In the working group of the Historical Commissions in Hesse , the Historical Commission for Hesse publishes the journal Hessisches Jahrbuch für Landesgeschichte (68 volumes up to 2018) in cooperation with the Hessian State Office for Historical Regional Studies in Marburg. The series “Political and Parliamentary History of the State of Hesse” (previously: “Prehistory and History of Parliamentarism in Hesse”, a total of 43 volumes up to 2017) is published in cooperation with the Hessian State Parliament .


  • Historical Commission for Hesse: 121st Annual Report , Marburg 2019.

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