The RAG’s task is to collect biographical and social data on those Theologians, Jurists, Physicians, and Masters of Arts, who studied at a university between 1250 and 1550. The information is entered into a prosopographic database that will eventually cover the entire territory of the Holy Roman Empire. Non-graduated noble visitors of universities are also taken into account. The RAG, which in the end will be a “who is who” of the scholars of the Old Empire, offers divers new and interdisciplinary perspectives due to its vast collection of data. Qualitative and quantitative statements on the intellectual elite of the Empire, their European networks, as well as institutional and territorial comparisons will be possible. Thus the scholars’ role in pre-modern society can be described on a firm empirical basis and explained within the framework of modern educational research, with special reference to social, cultural, and scientific history. 45,000 to 50,000 scholars are to be expected.
The RAG is supported by the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften) within the framework of the Academies’ Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Bavaria and the German state of Hesse.
Apart from that the RAG is an institution of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences.
At the moment two groups work simultaneously on the project, one at the University of Berne, Switzerland and one at the Justus-Liebig-Universiät in Gießen, Germany.
The overall management lies with Prof. Dr. Rainer Christoph Schwinges, Berne.
Text: Victor Karady, Professor, History Department Central European University (Budapest), Former research director emeritus of the French CNRS (EHESS)
[karady /at/ gmail.com]
Processed prosopographical databases (sets of statistical tables for multivariate data analyses) related to students and educated elites in Hungarian institutions of higher education (cc. 1867-1949) produced in the framework of the research project :
- « Culturally composite elites, regime changes and social crises in multi-ethnic and multi-confessional eastern Europe (The Carpathain Basin and the Baltics in comparison, cc. 1900-1950); Realized thanks to the financial support of the European Research Council (Advanced Leadership Grant ELITES08)
The data banks referred to below concern prosopographies with varying contents, depending on the existence, the accessibility and the personal information comprised in the sources exploited. The latter were both archival ones (mostly inscription files and exam records) and printed ones (lists of alumni enrolled, graduates, members of student or professional associations, etc.). The data consigned in the personal files draw essentially upon the following information :
- life cycle (place and date of birth and – occasionally – death)
- educational track (secondary schools and institutions of higher education attended – those abroad included – with dates of attendance, degrees obtained, scholarships awarded, grades obtained)
- social background (parents’ profession, residence, religion, mother tongue, ethnic belonging or origin)
- professional career and success (from lists of professionals, publications, citations in national biographical dictionaries, encyclopaedias).
With some exceptions for all the student populations cited below computerized prosopographies are available (in Access or SPSS programs) together with a sizable collection of statistical tables for each, prepared for multivariate analyses. A number of relevant publications are in preparation on different clusters of students and graduates (like jurists, medical doctors, artists, theologians, etc.) aiming explicitely at the comparative study of the collective properties of alumni having emerged from different institutions of higher learning training students for the given sector of professional activity. Some of the basic prosopographies are prepared for publication as such.
All data banks listed below may be consulted upon demand for purposes of academic or even genealogical reseach.
List of available computerized and statistically processed prosopographies
 Besides the data banks below on alumni of post secondary education in Hungary, several other large scale computerized prosopographical data collections have been achieved for Hungary (within its historically changing territories) in the framework of the project. The biggest among them concern the prosopographies of classical secondary school graduates for 1851-1950, amounting to 281.000 cases registered.
 The data banks referred to below do not include those collected in the same project for the Baltic countries and for regions detached from Hungary after 1918 (Slovakia, Transylvania and surrounding regions, Voivodina), that is for the period when their educational provision of these territories was placed under the authority of successor states – Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia.
 Exhaustive surveys of enrolled students unless otherwise indicated. Reference to universities and other institutions of higher education abroad concern only students from Hungary (by birth or by residence).
 See for example: Victor Karady and Lucian Nastasa (ed.), The University of Kolozsvár/Cluj and the Students of the Medical Faculty (1872-1918), Cluj, Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center, Budapest-New York, Central European University Press, 392 pages.