The Danube Trade

"The Danube Trade" is a platform for digitally indexing key sources of early modern economic and trade history of the Austrian Danube lands and its neighbouring regions.

Danubius Fluvius Europae Maximus, Handkolorierter Stich nach Jan Jansson (Amsterdam 1636) © Barry Lawrence Ruderman

The Krems Weighing and Warehouse Books

Since 2008, the digitally indexed Krems Weighing and Warehouse Books (1621–1737) provide information on merchants and their activities in Krems as the most important emporium next to Vienna. This makes the project one of the pioneer endeavours in digital source processing in Austria. The 28 volumes can be searched via an online database. Additional data on the regional origin of the persons, on individual market participants and further literature references supplement the more than 21,000 entries in the database.

Krems, Copperplate engraving by Georg Matthäus Vischer, Topographia Archiducatus Austriae Inferioris Modernae (1672) © IMAREAL
Kremser Waagbuch (1660 bis 1663), fol. 15r

The Aschach Toll Registers

In a second step, the Aschach Toll Registers (1627–1775) were digitized for the period from 1706 to 1740. These account books stand out both by their amount of conserved books and by an exceptionally high information content. While other toll books often only record goods and tolls received, the Aschach Toll Registers contain the names of all carriers and owners of the goods, the places of departure, information about passengers, and the exact name and quantity of all goods shipped – regardless of whether tolls were paid or not. By indexing this source, which is unique for the Austrian Danube region, it is possible to make statements about business cycles, flows of goods, migration movements or consumption habits and to determine the people involved in trade and transport in the Upper Danube region. From April 2023 on, these books will also be searchable by means of a database.

Extensive literature references on the project's thematic field as well as publications based on the analysis of the sources are available on the project website ("Bibliography", "Publications"). "The Danube Trade" is located at the Institute for Austrian Historical Research at the University of Vienna. Funding is largely provided by the Austrian Science Fund FWF. The Upper Austrian Provincial Archives in Linz, the Lower Austrian Provincial Archives in St. Pölten, the Krems City Archives, the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (long-term archiving of the database) and PHAIDRA (long-term archiving of the digitized books) act as cooperation partners.

Salomon Kleiner, Aschach (1738) © Albertina Wien
Aschach Toll Register, Hs. 142 (1740), pag. 0002