Publishing ego documents

Within the framework of the Specialised Information Service (FID) for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek offers the possibility to electronically publish so-called “ego documents” relating to Eastern or Southeastern Europe. Researchers are thus given easy and convenient access to materials that were previously often difficult or impossible to access publicly. The publication of ego documents is of particular benefit to historical-anthropological research, such as the on the history of everyday life or cultural or gender history in research on Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.


How to define ego documents?

Ego documents are materials such as autobiographies, diaries or letters in which the self-perception and representation of historical subjects in their environment is expressed. You can find more information on this topic at:


Publishing ego documents

The Specialised Information Service for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies supports you in publishing your ego documents. It does not matter whether these are available in digital or print form - we will digitise the latter for you. The publication service is open to individuals and scientific institutions and deals with previously unpublished material.


Steps for publication

We work together with you to identify those ego documents for which publication is sensible and feasible. The two main criteria are the current and future value for research and the clarification of legal issues.

Before publication, it must be clarified to what extent copyrights, personal and other rights are affected. Staff of the FID for Russian, East and Southeast European Studies will work with you to investigate these questions and prepare the corresponding contracts, such as the granting of rights for online provision. In general, we aim to publish new materials under a Creative Commons licence in the spirit of open access. Restricted access models are also possible if required.

After the legal issues have been clarified, the materials are transferred to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the digitisation is carried out by experienced staff. Special formats such as small prints, large formats or special items such as artist books can also be processed.

To make the ego documents findable, they have to be catalogued before publication. This is done at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; the data are fed into the corresponding library systems (B3Kat) so that the materials can be easily searched in osmikonSEARCH and the OPAC of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

All ego documents digitised by the FID are published via a specially designed platform. There, the materials are available to researchers digitally for research and can be used freely.

To the platform: Ego documents and estates on and from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe


Your contact person regarding ego documents:

Dr Katarzyna Adamczak

Email: katarzyna.adamczak(at)


Searching for ego documents

You can find research tips and a selection of particularly valuable self-testimonies on osmikon at:

Material | ego documents