Literae annuae

Despite constituting a specific genre of documents that only existed in the Jesuit Order, the annual reports (literae annuae) rank among the most frequently preserved early modern narrative sources originating from within religious orders. These texts would be produced by all order houses. In a structure that was more or less binding, they described the activities of the Jesuits over the relevant previous year, with the aim of providing information to senior representatives of the Order within the provincial centre as well as to brothers in the provinces and in Rome, the centre of the Order. Three copies of the Report would be prepared for these purposes and another, fourth copy, would be kept at the home college to preserve its history. Although the suppression of the Jesuit Order brought about the destruction or dispersion of most of its documents, literae annuae have been preserved in a complete series and have for decades been used as the basic source for the history of the individual houses of the order. For the Telč College, a group of reports kept at the college level has also been preserved, in addition to the texts relating to the College included in the convolutes pertaining to the entire province. These, to some extent, compensate to us for the loss of the Historia collegii Telčensis.

The aim of the research conducted under the NAKI project is to understand the production mechanisms of the individual texts, to analyse their language form, to compare them with other similar texts (the preserved elogia for the older and the Supplementa historiae for the later period) and, last but not least, to attempt to determine the authors of the individual texts.

An digital edition was chosen as the format for making selected parts of the Telč literae annuae available to the wider public.

There has been published two pilot documents by now:

The form of the edition is based on the methodology Metodika evidence dokladů hmotné kultury v narativních pramenech se zaměřením na zpřístupnění kulturně historických informací v cizojazyčných pramenech (Methodology of evidence of references of material culture in narrative sources with a focus on access to cultural and historical information in foreign language sources).