National Programme for the Development of Humanities 2013-2018.
The aim of the project is to start a series entitled Catalogues of testaments of people living in towns in the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania until 1795 and published by the Early Polish Culture Research Team at the Institute of History, University of Warsaw. The current project provides for an edition and publication of the first seven catalogues: Testaments of Poznań burghers from the second half of the 16th century and the 17th century; Testaments of Kraków burghers until the end of the 16th century; Testaments from court registers of small Polish towns until 1525; Testaments of Vilnius burghers until the end of the 17th century; Testaments of Grodno and Brest burghers in the 17th century; Testaments of inhabitants of Volhynian towns from the second half of the 16th century and from the 17th century; Testaments of Lviv burghers from the second half of the 16th century and from the 17th century. The idea of the planned series draws on a suggestion of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to carry out “long-term documentary, editorial and research work of fundamental significance to national heritage and culture”, formulated in the call for applications under Module 1.1 of the National Programme for the Development of Humanities.
The project will result in the publication of the catalogues of testaments listed above. The publication and research preceding it will make it possible to make up for the gaps in the inventories and studies into testaments of Polish burghers in comparison with those from neighbouring coutnries. The catalogues will be an important tool for all researchers using testamentary sources, not only those specialising in studies into this type of sources. They will facilitate access to a very fragmented source material and shorten the time of painstaking archive research. In addition, they will provide information about the specific nature of the sources, form and general content of the testaments. Digital images of the sources made during the work on the catalogues will contribute to the protection of source material, which is part of national heritage of both Poland and other countries that were once part of the Polish Commonwealth.