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Die Prize Papers. Produkt und Zeugnis von globalen Konfrontationen, Kolonialismus und Verflechtungen in der Frühen Neuzeit (1652–1815) article

Dagmar Freist, Lucas Haasis

Globalgeschichte / Global History, Volume 1 (2023), Issue 1, Page 77 - 106

THE PRIZE PAPERS. PRODUCT OF AND WITNESS TO GLOBAL CONFRONTATIONS, COLONIALISM AND NETWORKS IN THE EARLY MODERN PERIOD (1652–1815)

The article introduces the Prize Papers project, a major German-British research endeavour which analyses, catalogues, digitises and preserves written records and material artefacts that were captured by English privateers and Royal Navy ships during the maritime wars of the later seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and subsequently turned over to the High Court of Ad¬miralty in London. As the confiscated letters, journals, logbooks and objects come from places all over the world and are very diverse in nature, they provide researchers worldwide with unique opportunities to study topics like migration, labour recruitment, commercial transactions, family relations or enslavement on a global scale. Letters written or dictated by common seamen, women and even children, for example, challenge prevailing views about the limits of early modern literacy and allow historians to reconstruct the perspectives of hitherto neglected groups. The project’s website and open-access portal will eventually make 3.5 million images and metadata available to researchers working in the fields of maritime, colonial and global history.

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