Sample collection on women migrants at the Dresden City Archive below
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Collection: Bittschrift der Anna Wodianskin an die Kurfürstin von Sachsen | Petition letter of Anna Wodianskin to the Electress of Saxony (Germany: 1647)
Description: The petition letter of Anna Wodianskin preserves the migration narrative of a Bohemian woman living in Saxony at the end of the Thirty Years’ War. According to Wodianskin, she was a “poor deserted exile,” who was turned out of her house in Prague in 1628 by her husband for refusing to convert to Catholicism and made her way to the Saxonian capital of Dresden, where she supported herself as a food-seller. She appealed to the Electress of Saxony for an intervention with the municipality, as she encountered opposition to her business activities from the local market women who were her competitors. As was typical of the time, the letter derived from an oral communication between Anna, as the petitioner, and an unknown professional letter-writer, who would have composed it based on her first-person narrative.
Archive address: Elisabeth-Boer-Straße 1, 01099 Dresden, Germany
Reference number: Stadtarchiv Dresden, Ratsarchiv B I 10, 3r-4r
Links: Visit the Dresden City Archive’s website.
Publications: Schunka, Alexander. “Immigrant Petition Letters in Early Modern Saxony.” In Letters across Borders: The Epistolary Practices of International Migrants, edited by Bruce S. Elliott, David A. Gerber, and Suzanne M. Sinke, 271–90. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Contributor: Alexander Schunka