Principles of Indexing
In the register of persons have been included all the direct and indirect mentions of a certain person in the whole text of each single newsletter. In case a person could not be identified, the original spelling from the primary source was transcribed and reported in the database.
The following categories have not been included in the register:
- Ancient gods, heroes and saints;
- The names of military units deriving from personal names;
- Persons who have only been described with a first name or by non-specific kinship terms such as "cousin" or "cousin of ...";
- Children were only included and identified when designated by name, or if their identity could be determined by further evidence;
- In cases in which the identification of individuals mentioned with a title and a location (such as Commander of Pilsen, Pastor of Linnich) was not possible, then only the related location was recorded in the register of places.
- In case of German families and families from the Habsburg Estates, the identification of the name was in German, otherwise in the language of the origin area (in Italian, French, Spanish). Women were indexed according to family name, but birth name and, if applied, their names as widows were also included in the index.
- In case of uncertain birth or death data, the sign ~ was used.
- Titles of nobility were only included if necessary, such as in cases of Emperor, Pope, Sultan, Tsar, since otherwise they would have registered as mere names, or in order to differentiate them from other similar names. Since the original database was not able to display changes over time, official titles had to be largely neglected. Further categorization of people have been made according to very general categories, namely military, minister, diplomat, sailor, merchant, public official, scholar, Cardinal.
Names of countries and regions, rivers, lakes and mountains, as well as the names of districts in the Holy Roman Empire were included in the register of places. The name of the city from which the newsletter was sent, was not included again in the list of places related to that newsletter. Adjectives deriving from geographical names were not included as places. Expressions such as “this country” were included to the register only in those cases in which the country could be certainly identified.
Under the list of places were also included terms related to “geographical aggregation of people” such as the Spaniards, the Persians, etc., but also the Uskoks and Cossacks. These were of course registred under the respective country/region.
Historical geographic designations of countries (such as West Indies, Upper Hungary, Barbaria) were included in the original form from the sources, and not modernized since no clear alternative designation was found.
Names of cities were registred according to their current original name. In case cities have been mentioned in the newsletters with German historical designations, these have been added when differs from the modern German ones. In case of ambiguities, such as Salzburg (city or territory) Moldova, (river or principality), clarifications have been added. For practical reasons, clarifications have been also made for frequently occurring places, for places that have changed names over time, and localities today incorporated in bigger communities. Names of regions, countries, mountains etc. have been registered in German.