EGO | European History Online

von by EGO-Redaktion Original in German, angezeigt indisplayed in English


→ Detailed Introduction

EGO | European History Online is a transcultural history of Europe on the Internet. It investigates processes of intercultural exchange in European history whose impact extended beyond state, national and cultural borders. EGO describes Europe as a constantly changing communicative space which witnessed extremely varied processes of interaction, circulation, overlapping and entanglement, of exchange and transfer, but also confrontation, resistance and demarcation.

EGO examines 500 years of modern European history by transcending national, disciplinary and methodological boundaries. The subjects are as diverse as the communicative and transfer processes which EGO depicts. They range from religion, politics, science and law, to art and music, as well as to the economy, technology and the military. Ten thematic threads enable a systematic approach to accessing the content. "Surveys" provide background information and context. "Basic elements" describe and analyse specific transfer processes relevant to Europe. "Focus elements" contain materials and information on discrete aspects or introduce particular mediators that were significant for intercultural transfer processes. Over 250 articles are being gradually published.

Multi-Media Approach

EGO links refereed academic articles to images, primary sources, statistics, animated and interactive maps, as well as audio and video clips. This multi-media network enables a journey through space, time and themes. The various elements can be browsed in all directions via links and navigation bars. In this way, EGO takes full advantage of the Internet's multi-media potential.

All the multi-media elements are organised into a list of media. Internal links and references connect the EGO articles with one another. They connect the content of the texts to images, diagrams and tables that provide examples or additional information, or support the argument being made.

Moreover, a network is created via links to images, digitalised sources and biographical data available outside EGO, as well as to academic literature published online and other academic online resources referenced in the notes to the articles.

Access is not only provided by the threads, but also a versatile search function that offers an individualised means of viewing the content. The full-text search brings up every relevant element in EGO. The simple search puts together a selection of articles based on period, topic, geography or thematic thread. The advanced search allows one to define the search by keyword, author, period, topic, geographical space and thread. It can also be restricted to specific media. The search results create a personalised short "history of Europe" that corresponds to the interests of the user.

Target Audience and Users

EGO is aimed at an international audience with an academic education made up of advanced undergraduates, postgraduate students and experienced researchers from all the historical disciplines, as well as those in journalism, publishing, schools and adult education responsible for introducing history to a larger audience. The articles should be written so that readers from various disciplines and with different levels of education can understand them. They therefore avoid overly detailed and specialised discussions of the research.

EGO does not aim to cover the "canonised" knowledge of the history of Europe as, for example, it is presented in BA courses. Rather, EGO articles bring together the most recent research. They are based on the specific perspective of communication and transfer. In this way, too, EGO differs from a reference book, encyclopaedia or portal.

EGO aspires to create an interdisciplinary network of international historical research on Europe. Authors and editors can comment upon their articles in an internal discussion forum. All other users can directly communicate their impressions and comments to the authors via a contact form. User comments can, thereby, be incorporated into updated versions of the article.

EGO employs the principle of open access – i.e. it provides free access to academic literature and materials (on the Internet). Equally, the use of more than one language serves the goal of spreading the content across boarders quickly and unhindered: the user interface is bilingual (English and German). Articles are accepted in English and German. All survey articles are translated into the other language and published in both languages. Other important articles will be translated in the course of time.

Publisher and Editors

EGO | European History Online in published by the Leibniz Institute of European History (Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte – IEG) in Mainz. The IEG conducts interdisciplinary research on the religious and political foundations of Europe in the Early Modern and Modern Period and organises an international research fellowship programme. The research groups of the IEG bring their communicative and transfer approaches to EGO.

EGO is the product of international and interdisciplinary cooperation. The chief editors are the directors of the IEG, Nicole Reinhardt (bis 2022: Irene Dingel) and Johannes Paulmann (until 2011: Heinz Duchhardt). They have the final decision in accepting or rejecting submitted articles. The chief editors are supported by an editorial board of around 20 leading experts in their field. At the moment, these include:

  • Lutz Berger
    Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany
    Islamic Studies
  • Thomas Bremer
    University of Münster, Germany
    Ecclesiastical and Theological History of Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Mariano Delgado
    University of Fribourg, Switzerland
    Catholic Theology / Ecclesiastical History
  • Klaus Fitschen
    University of Leipzig, Germany
    Protestant Theology / Ecclesiastical History
  • Andreas Gestrich
    German Historical Institute London, Great Britain
    Social History / West European History
  • Regina Grafe
    European University Institute Florenz, Italien
  • Hubertus Kohle
    Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
    Art History
  • László Kontler
    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
    History of Ideas, Intellectual History
  • Leo Lucassen
    Leiden University, the Netherlands
    Social History and the History of Migration
  • Laurenz Lütteken
    University of Zurich, Switzerland
    Music History
  • Matthias Morgenstern
    University of Tubingen, Germany
    Jewish Studies
  • Matthias Müller
    Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany
    Art History
  • Fridrun Rinner
    University of Provence, France
    History of Literature
  • Wolfgang Schmale
    University of Vienna, Austria
    European Studies, Gender History
  • Ingo Trauschweizer
    Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA
    Military History
  • Helmuth Trischler
    Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany
    History of Technology
  • Stefan Troebst
    University of Leipzig, Germany
    Central East and East European History
  • Jürgen Wilke
    Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany
    Media History and the History of Communication
  • Renate Wittern-Sterzel
    University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
    History of Medicine
  • Paul Ziche
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands
    History of Science

Former Editors

  • Mitchell Ash
    University of Vienna, Austria
    History of Science
  • Bożena Chołuj
    University of Warsaw, Poland / Viadrina European University, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
    Gender History, History of Literature
  • Barbara Dölemeyer
    Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt (Main), Germany
    Legal History
  • Reinhard Flogaus
    Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany
    Ecclesiastical and Theological History of Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Helga Mitterbauer
    University of Graz, Austria
    Literary History, Theories of Cultural Transfer
  • Ruth-Elisabeth Mohrmann (†)
    University of Munster, Germany
    European Ethnology
  • Johannes Paulmann
    Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz, Germany
    International History
  • Toni Pierenkemper
    University of Cologne, Germany
    Economic History
  • Peer Vries
    University of Vienna, Austria
    Economic History
  • Peter H. Wilson
    University of Hull, Great Britain
    Military History

The members of the editorial board recommend authors for their area and act as referees. Some articles are reviewed by two or sometimes more members of the editorial board.

Partners and Participating Institutions

The Trier Center for Digital Humanities is responsible for programming and designing EGO. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB) in Munich will undertake the long-term digital preservation of EGO articles.

Supporting the editors and authors of EGO is an international and interdisciplinary research network that includes more than 300 individuals.

EGO works with the Web Portal European History at Clio-Online, the Laboratoire d'excellence EHNE "Écrire une nouvelle histoire de l’Europe" (Writing a new history of Europe) as well as with many other international institutions and projects.

Numerous research institutions, museums and libraries throughout the world support EGO by allowing EGO to incorporate thumbnail links to their digital or online collections or by permitting EGO to use their multi-media content.

Quality Control, Legal Questions and Sustainability

The authors, editorial staff, editorial board and chief editors work together in an internal review procedure that has three stages:
1.  The authors can, if they wish, submit their articles for internal and anonymous review. The editorial board and the other authors can then discuss and comment upon the articles.
2.   After the editorial staff have read the submitted article, it is sent for review to the members of the editorial board who are experts in the article's particular field. They can draw on the help of external and anonymous referees.
3.   The editorial staff formally copy edit and link the submitted article, which is then read one last time by the chief editors and finally published.

This combination of the traditional review process and an interactive, internal discussion guarantees that the articles are of high quality and full of information. At the same time, they offer the members of the editorial board and authors the opportunity to keep abreast of the newest research within their area.

The resources within EGO or connected to it via links are evaluated and chosen by the editorial staff and authors. EGO only provides links to external resources that are freely accessible, i.e. they are free of charge and do not have access restrictions, and are of scholarly value.

All the EGO articles are self-contained publications whose authors receive full recognition. Each has its own stable URL and URN and a consistent recommended form of citation. The IEG's library will catalogue the articles individually. They will therefore be present in the library associations and portals throughout the world and can be quoted as individual publications.

The authors can chose between complete copyright control or the form of creative commons license that offers the most control (CC by-nc-nd = Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works).

EGO is published in accordance with German copyright laws, the term of protection of which exceeds the internationally agreed minimum term under the revised Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and extends to 70 years from the death of the author pursuant to the law of the European Union. Our editorial staff carefully check all rights regarding the storage and publication of copyrighted material. Copyrighted material, for which no clarification of such rights is possible, will not be saved or published by EGO.

EGO is a long-term infrastructure: since the construction phase (2009–2015), the system is being gradually extended with new articles in order to keep pace with the newest developments in the research. EGO is flexible and capable of development with regard to its content, form and concept.


The pilot phase of EGO was funded by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate as part of the programme "Wissen schafft Zukunft" (2007−2009). From 2009 until 2015, the construction of EGO was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation – DFG) within the framework of the programme "Scientific Library Services and Information Systems" (LIS): electronic publications.

EGO is maintained by the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz and the Trier Center for Digital Humanities.