The Regesta Pontificum Romanorum Online (RPR Online) aim at registering all papal contacts up to the year 1198 in a database. Thus, it will become a central directory for all questions concerning the popes' actions from ancient to high medieval times.
The respective content of these actions is summarised in regesta, which are completed by information about their authenticity, the date and their tradition. The database is primarily based on the tradition of the Göttinger Papsturkundenwerk (click here for a history of the project). However, not only the Regesta Pontificum Romanorum established by Paul Fridolin Kehr, which present papal contacts sorted by their recipients (Italia Pontificia, Germania Pontificia, Gallia Pontificia, Iberia Pontificia, Bohemia-Moravia Pontificia, Polonia Pontificia) will be included, but also the new (third) edition of the chronologically sorted Regesta Pontificum Romanorum by Philipp Jaffé and his successors. Moreover, the Regesta decretalium, a summary of the popes' legal decisions preserved in canonical collections, which is being compiled at the Stephan Kuttner Institute in Munich, will be added. It is planned to perspectively include the respective regesta dealing with papal history of the Regesta Imperii as well. The RPR Online will unite these different traditions of compiling regesta und will overcome institutional borders. They make it possible to research in all of these four editions of regesta at the same time and make them visible in a parallel overview. All in all, it thus allows comparative studies and research with the help of the most important editions of regesta concerning papal history up to the year 1198.
The advantages of the database in contrast to the printed volumes include even more than just a parallel view on the regesta: The data are fed into the database in an already structured form, thus allowing searching for specific aspects in the different database fields. Moreover, persons and places are tagged with additional information (cf. Herbers/Schlauwitz 2015 ). This is an improvement on the two editions since it is now possible to search across volumes. The additional information may also be searched with the help of very detailed parameters. Additional options for filtering and sorting the results are another enhancement. Moreover, all bibliographic titles a linked directly to the Regesta imperii's OPAC , allowing an easy access to more information.
Furthermore, a geobrowser is provided, which makes visible single places, all places of one specific charter, all places of one search result, or all previous places on a map. There are even more options how to use the geobrowser: it can be used as a tool for researching and accessing regesta. A timeline provides the users with a quick overview of the chronological distribution.
The Regesta Pontificum Romanorum mainly provide the regesta of editions already published in print, but of course it will be possible to correct or amend them afterwards (errors that do not change the content of a regest will be corrected silently, whereas other changes will be commented). The inventory is still being built up right now and will be supplemented continuously. At first, the most recent publications will be included. The older ones will be added gradually in the form of researchable digitised volumes. At the moment, the regesta of these volumes are contained in the database:
Additionally, retro-digitised papal charters from the Göttingen collection as well as research results (automatic layout analyses) from the project Schrift und Zeichen will be uploaded.