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The Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (HiKo) was founded in 1858 and is located in Munich.
HiKo is a self-governing organization, with Gerrit Walther as its president and Bernhard Löffler as secretary. The commission currently has a total of 43 members, all scholars from universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Its strategic decisions are made at annual meetings.
The Historical Commission’s long-term research is organized into departments. Around 30 researchers are currently on staff, 20 of them with permanent contracts. The commission’s administration is located together with the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities at its Munich site. HiKo is mainly financed by the Free State of Bavaria, while also receiving third-party funding for projects.
Basic Historical Research
The commission’s activities focus chiefly on scholarly editions of source material from the Middle Ages to contemporary history (e.g. documents of the Imperial German Diet, documents of the Reich Chancellery, the National Socialist regime 1933-1945) as a basis for further historical research.
Its second area of focus lies in biographical research. HiKo cooperates with the Bavarian State Library to run Deutsche Biographie (comparable to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography), the largest academic source of reliable biographical information in the German-speaking world.
HiKo has also been involved in the field of digital humanities for a number of years. Its academic staff uses and develops digital methods and tools to this end (Oxydition).