Research & Publications

Master Thesis

My master thesis in 2006 in philology was about “obstetrical vocabulary in Early Modern German”. I edited and researched five early 15th century manuscripts and looked at the words used for sexual organs, menstruation etc.
It was not published, but it has been quoted since.

War Chronicles of Limlingerode

In 2014, I had the chance to work with five handwritten chronicles written by the Rev. August Rönnefahrt in the village of Limlingerode in Thuringia between 1914 and 1918. He described how the war effected the village, how first the horses and then the men were drafted, how the youth got out of control. He also copied letters home from the soldiers to their families and to him into the exercise books. The transcription of about 800 pages culminated in a performance in the local church, where descendants of the people mentioned of people living in their houses now read extracts from the chronicles.

Friendship Albums/ Autograph Albums

Friendship albums (album amicorum) where my focus of research between 2014 and 2016. It started with an album once owned by the student
Julian Urban Bierschmid, which my grandmother had in her possession. He had been a pupil of a German school in St. Petersburg.
The research intensified with the album kept by my own great-great-…-grandfather Gerhard Heinrich von Halem, a student from East Frisia at the university of Frankfurt/Oder. It contained some strange marks and drawings, which turned out to be secret code revealing that he was a member of a fraternity. I collaborated with Dr. Hans-Peter Hümmer in publishing an essay about this newly discovered Frankfurt branch of that fraternity (see below).
I continued researching East Frisian students, especially at the University of Halle.

Publications

Essays

  • “Das Stammbuch des stud. jur. Hermann Hessling(h) aus Emden und seine Beziehungen zu anderen Hallenser Alben der Freundschaft”, in: Quellen und Forschungen zur ostfriesischen Familien- und Wappenkunde 2015, Heft 3-4, S. 45-68.
  • Hans-Peter Hümmer/ Anne-Karoline Distel, ‘Das Stammbuch des Gerhard Henrich von Halem aus Dornum in Ostfriesland’, in: Einst und Jetzt. Jahrbuch des Vereins für corpsstudentische Geschichtsforschung, Bd. 61, 2016, S. 141-170)
  • Die Schülerliste der Domschule Halberstadt 1759-1782 mit Biogrammen (= A list of students at the Cathedral school in Halberstadt 1759 to 1782 with short biographies) (Work in progress)

Collaboration

Talks

  • Über die Darstellungen von Kindslagen in antiken und mittelalterlichen Handschriften [= About the depiction of fetal positions in antique and medieval manuscripts], 14/06/2007 at the Saxonian Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, Germany.
  • Digitising Graveyard Inscriptions. Given on 23/08/2018 as part of Heritage Week 2018 at City Library, John’s Quay, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Books

  • 100 Birds of Ireland in Watercolour, Kilkenny 2018. ISBN: 978-1-9164372-0-3. Sample
  • Drawn to Tunes – Original Irish Tunes and Drawings, Kilkenny 2019. ISBN 978-1916437210. Sample

Radio plays

  • “Das Maere von der Minne” (=Tidings of Love), epic poem, 1st broadcast September 2006 on mephisto 97.6
  • “Mors certa, hora incerta”, historical whodunit, 1st broadcast in August 2007