Research Facility Goettingen

The research facility of the academy of Goettingen records the inscriptions of the federal state of  Lower Saxony

  • Head of the commission: Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Henkel
  • Director of the facility: Dr. Christine Wulf
  • Free employee: Dr. Sabine Wehking
  • Address: Akademie der Wissenschaften, Inschriftenkommission, Theaterstraße 7, 37073 Göttingen
  • Telehone: 0551 / 39 53 36, 0551 / 39 53 66
  • Fax: 0551 / 39 54 07
  • E-Mail:

In a first working phase, dating from 1970 to 1981, the facility of Goettingen has analyzed the Saxon art-memorial inventories and local historical publications in regard to the contained inscription revelations. On a foundation of this collection, which contained about 10000 numbers, an archive was created: The archive of the Lower-Saxon inscriptions, which is tapped via a register. At the same time a second work phase was started in 1975 in which the single inscription stocks were worked through and published according to the guidelines of a project plan.

For the state of Lower-Saxony there are in the first case inscriptions recorded belonging to single cities. The editing of the federal districts of Goettingen: Hildesheim, Holzminden and Schaumburg (published 2006), ushered a new phase for the edition of Lower-Saxon inscriptions. Now also villages and smaller cities are considered. The hitherto edited larger urban inscription-corpora of Lower-Saxony consist basically of inscriptions which were recorded from grave memorials and from houses. Inscriptions from church endowment form another large group inside the volumes.

A special feature of the inscriptions of Lower-Saxony are the so-called house inscriptions, they belong to the area of half-timbered constructing. The broad swollen-joists of the Lower-Saxon half-timbered houses offer large spaces for the placement of larger texts. The oldest can be traced back to the second half of the 15th century and normally just inform us of the date of construction. In the second half of the 16th century increasingly longer inscriptions can be found on the houses. The majority of them consist of bible quotes or proverbs in German or Latin language. The house inscriptions are quite often in connection with ornamental and figurative carvings. On houses which feature large picture-programs the inscriptions serve to identify and explain the depictions.

Research Facilities