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.