With a total of eleven menu items the web portal offers insight into the goals, the history workshop and the results of three research projects, supported by the Austrian Science Fund and by funds of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. By clicking on Deutsch or English in the list of menu items, you can change to the selected language.

The first menu item ACTIVITIES is an integrated blog where we not only provide information on the project’s activities but also briefly comment on current marriage debates.

The menu item PROJECT provides an overview of the research interest, the investigation period and the investigated courts. Here you will also find an explanation of the central terms, separation and divorce, as well as the terms of use of the web portal.

The menu item TEAM offers information on the members and the cooperation partners of the research projects. The following menu items are differentiated according to the three main study periods – Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (1558-1783), Secular Jurisdiction (1783-1850) and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (1857-1868), where the rules for the separation or divorce from bed and board and for regulating the consequences of the divorce changed significantly.

The menu item DATA COLLECTION offers insight into the history workshop. For all three main study periods we explicate the competent courts, the remaining sources and the methods for collecting the sources. Here you will also find detailed information on the time segments researched. Selected digitalized versions of consistorial protocols and divorce records provide an idea of the material nature of the sources processed.

In the menu item INSIGHTS briefly annotate excerpts from matrimonial proceedings, marriage counsellors and for the third investigation period also from reports from examining judges of the Viennese archbishop’s marriage court can be found.

The menu item MATRIMONIAL PROCEEDINGS offers not only insights into the legal norms of annulment and divorce and procedural law, which you can also read thanks to the links to the digital copies of the Austrian National Library which have been provided. But also explanations on how we categorized the various lawsuits which wives and husbands conducted at the courts. Second, you will find qualitative as well as quantitative results of the marriage proceedings. Differentiated between the legal interests of the lawsuit or the petition and the judgments or settlements, colored graphics visualize the results of the three study periods.

The menu item DIVORCE CONSEQUENCES describes the normative stipulations concerning the regime of marital property on the one hand, and for regulating the “worldly things” of marriage on the other. Here, too, the aforementioned laws and paragraphs are linked to the digital copies of the Austrian National Library so that they can also be read in their “original” form. Quantitative and qualitative insight into the property decisions made by the marriage partners or the courts and the regulation of the custody of the children – both during the proceedings and after the judgment or settlement – is also provided. The quantiative results are visualized by colored graphics. For all three time periods, the options that were available, for example if the granted maintenance was not paid for or only partially paid, are also described.

The menu item LAWYERS provides initial information on the requirements that lawyers had to meet in order to represent the married couples in court during the different periods of time.

The menu item COUPLES explains the methodological procedure for collecting biographical information on the 2,193 married couples, or 4,426 people, who carried out one or more marriage procedures in the periods studied. It provides information about the religious affiliation of the spouses, the marital status of bride and groom at the wedding ceremony, the age at the time of marriage, the age difference and the socio-economic position of the spouses, the duration of the marriage and the age of the spouses at the first marriage as well as the place of residence of the couple.

The menu item DATABASE is the heart of the web portal. Here you will find an integrated database for the presentation of the matrimonial proceedings examined. The key data for each individual proceeding can be retrieved from 2,193 married couples who conducted 3,564 litigations in the time segments examined – from the legal interest to the arguments put forward all the way up to the verdict. If couples carried out multiple proceedings, these are linked. In addition, the web database contains – as far as we could reconstruct it – the personal data of spouses (place of birth, life data, surname at the time of birth, names assumed at a later date) and information on religious affiliation. Regarding the couple, the date of marriage, the place of residence, the marital status and the age of the spouses at the time of the marriage are also shown.

In the last menu item PUBLICATIONS you are provided with information on project-related publications, as well as lectures and interviews by team members and qualification papers completed by students. If legally permitted, we link these to the corresponding work.

 Andrea Griesebner, May 2020, translation Jennifer Blaak
Last update: Andrea Griesebner, February 2021

Next menu item: Project
Citation: Andrea Griesebner, Content » Start, in: Webportal. Marriage at Court 3.0, 2024, <>. [Date of access: 2024-07-16]