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Simple Search

  •  An entry in the search field “name” searches the fields first name, first name variant, last name, last name variant, name prefix and name addition.
  • The search field “place” refers to the fields place, institution and diocese of the office dataset.
  • The search field “office” refers to the field designation of the office dataset.
  • An entry in the field “year” reveals all datasets on persons who are documented in that year.
  • The search field “number” refers to GSN-numbers, GND-numbers, monastery IDs, CERL-numbers and VIAF-numbers.

The simple search is not case sensitive. In the fields name, place and office, suggestions are shown after entering the first characters (autocomplete).

Advanced Search

  •  Datasets of persons are always retrieved. Multiple search criteria concerning the office refer to the same office: when at least one office contains all these criteria, the dataset of that person is retrieved.
  •  Combination is possible using “AND” or inclusive “OR”, whereby “OR” binds more strongly than “AND” and therefore takes precedence.
  •  Search terms are not case sensitive.
  • In the search term, the placeholder * stands for any desired number of characters, while ? stands for one unknown character. When searching with the operators “is smaller than” and “is larger than”, no placeholders are allowed. Numbers are treated as text (“995” is larger than “1012”, for example).


The search results are sorted by family name. In the name column, the complete names followed by the date of death are retrieved. In the office column, along with the office designation, the place of office or, if unavailable, the diocese is retrieved.
For volumes available online, the reference is linked to the browse access via a pop-up window.
Additionally, facets for the diocese, the place of office and the designation of the office are retrieved. Up to 100 entries are retrieved, after clicking “show more…”, up to 1000 entries are retrieved. Below the list of results, links for the output of the search results in different machine-readable data formats are retrieved (Linked Data).

Detailed View

In the detailed view, only filled data fields are shown. GND-Numbers are linked to the page of the German National Library (opens in a new window). CERL-IDs are linked to the page of the CERL-Thesaurus (opens in new window). VIAF-IDs are linked to the corresponding VIAF-page. GS-numbers are linked with a persistent URL of the application (opens in new window). In-text references are linked to the browse access as described above (opens in new window).
When a dataset has a GND, below the detailed view there are references to datasets from other databases. To achieve this, queries are sent both to the service of the New German Biography as well as the See Also service at http://beacon.findbuch.de/seealso/pnd-aks/. The results are combined and retrieved. Whencombined, the categorization of the New German Biography is used, and all URLs retrieved from the Findbuch are sorted into the category “further offers”.
Below the list, links for the output of the search results in different machine-readable data formats are retrieved (Linked Data).

Persistent URLs

Datasets can be linked either via GS-Numbers (Numbering system of the Germania Sacra Online) or via GND-Numbers (Numbering system of the German National Library). To achieve this, the relevant number is added to a set URL. Example for a link via a GND: http://personendatenbank.germania-sacra.de/index/gnd/118647733.

Example for a link via a GSN: http://personendatenbank.germania-sacra.de/index/gsn/063-00008-001

Full Text Search and Browse Access

All volumes listed in the selection field can be browsed, even not published volumes. Via the selection field, the search can be restricted to individual volumes when necessary. The search function works with precise page numbers. Multiple search terms separated by spaces are classified as AND-conditions, the search results must therefore contain all these words on one page. Non-alpha-numerical characters are removed from the search term.
The sorting of results follows the relevance algorithm of the Lucene Implementation of Zend. The most important criterion is how often the search terms are used on one page of text (the more frequently, the further at the beginning of the list of results).
The search results contain the following information:

  • Volume number and page number. For published volumes, the page number is linked to browse access.
  • Preview of the page which is linked to browse access, although only for published volumes.
  • Text excerpt of the page with the marked search terms. If the marking of the search terms does not work, no text is retrieved.

Via the list of volumes in the front end, access to PDF-documents and the browse access of the published volumes is available. By clicking on the column headers, the table can be sorted.
In browse access, the pages of the PDF-documents are shown as images. For navigation within the volume, three options are available:

  • Selection of a chapter and subsequent click on “open here”.
  •  Entering a roman or Arabic page number and subsequent click on “open here”.
  • Turning to the following or previous page. Turning pages can be done via the available links, the arrow keys of the keyboard or via a mouse click on one half of the page.

As a persistent link, the following schema can be used:

personendatenbank.germania-sacra.de/books/findpage/<volume number>/<page in print>

This link is connected to every page with the page number.

Kontakt Digitale Projekte

Akademie der Wissenschaften
zu Göttingen
Germania Sacra
Bärbel Kröger, M.A.
Geiststraße 10
D-37073 Göttingen

Phone: +49 (0)551/39-21558
Email: bkroege@gwdg.de
www: www.germania-sacra.de