Working with the database
The prosopography of dissent was one of the main targets of the DaT18 project. In order to render relevant the fragmentary evidence in archival and published sources with regard to the biographies of the Orthodox opponents of church union in the 1740s–1760s, the dispersed details had to be put together in a relational database, an intricate approach that meant data identification, entering, uniformization and normalization. In this early stage I have favoured the information that touched upon the priests of the Transylvanian Orthodox diocese, with estimates of around 1,500 people, in an attempt to explain the birth of this social group and its possible roots in the earlier times of religious confrontation. Recovering clerical careers has been made possible by the preservation of significant serial data, for they have been the object of three successive statistical endeavours during the bishopric of Dionisije Novaković (1762–1767). This information will be gradually complemented with the evidence from the fiscal censuses, as well as that arising from the inquiries which targeted the laymen who headed the opposition movement. The results can be accessed through the interface available on this web page, which allows searching the database according to a keyword to find all the records that include it, by selecting a precise location on the map to show details about people related to that place, or by exploring all the tables that compose the database for more complex search statements.
A wider examination into the typology of the sources and the specific difficulties they raise for the historian, alongside the technical solutions in designing and developing the database has appeared in issue 1/2020 of Studia UBB Digitalia and can be accessed at the following link: https://doi.org/10.24193/subbdigitalia.2020.1.04.
In a first effort to put to good use the records in the database, statistical analysis has been employed to gain better insights into the emergence of the Orthodox clergy in the mid-eighteenth century, resulting in the publication of an article in issue 1/2021 of Annales Universitatis Apulensis, Series Historica, which is available at: https://doi.org/10.29302/auash.2021.25.1.6.
Please do not hesitate to notify me of any errors or send your suggestions using the means described in the Contact page.
The quick search is as simple as introducing a keyword in the search box and clicking the search button that best describes your search term. This can be either the unique identification number of every individual in the database (DaT18ID), the uniform given name and surname of individuals (First Name; Last Name) or their name as registered in the documents (Recorded Name), the category and approximate date of an event that a certain individual was involved in (Event Type; Event Year), as well as the associated place name in any of its modern official versions in Romanian, Hungarian and German (Location RO; Location HU; Location DE). Make sure your browser allows incoming requests from this website to open pop-up windows and redirect to a new page.
Scrolling through the database opens new and more elaborate query possibilities. Each of the six available tables (Person Details; Personification; Event Details; Master Event; Source Details; Location Details) allows you to make an advanced search of their data, including the use of Boolean operators to narrow the range of results. To take advantage of this tool, suffice it to click on the search icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and then select where to input the search term and define all required conditions. You will be presented with a table view of the results, from where you can open a detailed view for each single entry by double-clicking on it. Here you will find a full description and all related instances, either on the same page or as highlighted links that you need to click to access them.
The map allows searching for content related to a place location by simply clicking on the blue dot that marks its spot to open a new window which contains information on the individuals active there throughout the period covered by the database. It should be noted, however, that the query is set to extract a limited sample of the information available in the Personification, Person Details, and Location Details tables and that it is not meant to replace a full exploration into the database. To navigate the map, you can scroll to enlarge or reduce its scale and use the Home button to recentre the view or the Grab button to select only a portion of the map for enlargement.
Georeferencing was achieved by importing the relevant dataset from the GeoNames.org gazetteer and linking it to the settlements in the Location Details table. Although every possible effort has been made to identify missing localities, attribute the correct GPS coordinates, and rectify errors by checking the placement on contemporary and eighteenth-century maps, inaccuracies may still subsist, owing mainly to the data quality of the gazetteer itself.
The search results can be quoted by using the short name of the project (DaT18), followed by the ID number of the individuals and/or events registered in the database. All records relating to an individual are held together by a unique identification number, DaT18ID. Use this call number to reference a person in the database (e.g.: DaT18, DaT18ID 768). In similar fashion, all singular events in which one or more persons took part have received their own identification number, EventID. This may be used to quote the details of a certain event (e.g.: DaT18, EventID 768). Likewise, each distinct mentioning in the sources of the same individual, together with the corresponding details, has made for a separate entry with its own identification number, PersonID. The latter may be quoted when you want to reference some particular details in the life of one individual and not his entire activity (e.g.: DaT18, PersonID 768).