Since the end of the Middle Ages, genealogies have played an important role as a means of legitimization and thus for the consolidation and representation of dynasties' claim to power. The main forms of representation for the presentation and order of relevant knowledge were family trees and genealogical tables. The family trees, which were published using complex and therefore expensive printing processes, were primarily aimed at the members of the dynasty. The genealogical charts were a simpler and therefore cheaper method of presentation, which served primarily as a working tool for scientific genealogy. An important representative of scholarly genealogy was the founder of pietism Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705), whose Theatrum nobilitates Europae is among the most important genealogical works of the 17th century. Spener's genealogical tables were trend-setting in their form. In contrast to this, the universal genealogical series and periodicals, which were both mass published and scientifically undemanding, were oriented towards commercial success. From them, the historical-genealogical calendars emerged in the course of the 18th century.
Since the beginning of the 18th century, genealogy has established itself as a sub-discipline of the historical auxiliary sciences. Works such as Christian Hübner's (1681-1713) Allerdurchläuchtigen Hohen Häuser In Europa [...] Neueste Genealogien, von 1500. biß 1707, which were structured according to the catechetical teaching method of question-answer-exchange, contributed to this.
The holdings of the Francke Foundations contain numerous works of early modern genealogy, which, with their sometimes magnificent design and monumental presentation, are the focus of the cabinet exhibition.
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