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Welcome to the "Digital Archive to the Rostocker Liederbuch"

The “Digital Archive to the Rostocker Liederbuch” (“Digitales Archiv zum Rostocker Liederbuch” – DARL) is a collaborative project between the Department of German Studies, the Department of Computer Sciences, the IT and Media Centre and the University Library of the University of Rostock and also the Rostock University of Music and Drama. The project is administrated by Prof. Dr. Franz-Josef Holznagel (Department of German Studies). Between March 2012 and November 2013, the DARL was funded by the research fund of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. On the one hand the Digital Archive tends to further advance the work that was initially presented on the website www.rostocker-liederbuch.de and on the other hand it contributes to the new edition of the songs and melodies of the “Rostocker Liederbuch”.

The manuscript and its songs

The manuscript of the “Rostock Songbook” has the shelf mark “Rostock, University Library: Mss. philol. 100/2”. It is a plain, small formatted late-medieval manuscript made of paper with today 44 pages. The first edition of the texts was titled “Rostocker Niederdeutsches Liederbuch” and it was published by the finder of the manuscript – Bruno Claussen – in 1919. In 1927, Friedrich Ranke and Joseph Müller-Blattau first published all texts and Melodies of the “Rostocker Liederbuch”. The manuscript was most likely written in the 2nd half of the 15th century presumably at a university in northern Germany. The manuscript assembles mostly anonymous songs of different types – courtship songs, didactical or instructional songs, bawdy songs, hymns or the oldest known Low-German Christmas carol. Also, there are a lot of melodies that are mostly written down unisonous, two songs even have two voices.

The project

The DARL has two main goals:
(1) To digitally collect and preserve all available material related to the “Rostocker Liederbuch” (e.g. digitized images of the manuscript and the parallels, publications with reference to the “Rostocker Liederbuch”, musical recordings of the songs) in order to secure the availability of the material over a longer time. Thereby, the cooperation between the Department of German Studies, the Department of Computer Sciences, the IT and Media Centre and the University Library of the University of Rostock ensure a stable storage and constant development of the DARL’s database.
(2) To present the material that is produced in addition to the new edition of the “Rostocker Liederbuch” and to edit these data to adapt them for interested users. The DARL’s integration in the structures of the University of Rostock ensures constant updates even after the ending of the project’s funding. If you have any questions or suggestions e.g. concerning references to musical recordings or parallels, you may find contact information here; the team of the DARL is presented here.