Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon
The Future of Microhistory

13 January 2013


In 2003 I wrote a proposal for a second Fulbright grant (I got the first one 2002), which I never followed up on. The proposal has been sitting in my drawer ever since. It was ment to deal with microhistory in higher education. I called it: “In the Classroom and on the Internet: Microhistory as a Teaching Tool for Graduate Education”, and in it was a detailed discussion on how best to use microhistory for internet education.

Now, five years later, the Microhistory Network has developed undir the leadership of István Szijártó, assistant professor of history at the Eötvös University in Budapest. Scholars from Hungary, Norway and Iceland are involved. One of the goals of the collaboration is to form a MA-course in microhistory. I am lucky enough to be a part of this program. The first meeting was held in Reykjavik, where I gave a short overview of my ideas on the topic seen from the Icelandic perspective – on the Icelandic school of microhistory. I have updated this paper now for publishing purposes, baised on my earlier work for the Fulbright Commission, and worked with the intellectual potential that I think microhistory for higher education contains. I hope some of this material will help future discussions about microhistory.


The aims behind the project “In the Classroom and on the Internet: Microhistory as a Teaching Tool for Graduate Education” are three: First, I think it is important to design and develop a first-class graduate course built around the methods of microhistory as they have been shaped and applied in recent years. This course would seek to present and explain all the basic facets of microhistory as they have developed in countries such as Italy, Germany and the United States and provide an account of the differing approaches used by scholars in these countries. The main idea however would be to identify the common thread running through microhistory among all its practitioners wherever they are and to pinpoint the potentials revealed in the work of those who apply the strong characteristics of microhistory to throw light on historical development and so differentiate them from the forms of work treating history in a larger context.

Secondly, I want to attempt to create a special version of this course on the internet which would demand quite different ways of implementing and thinking about the phenomenon. It will be necessary to approach this task on the assumption that the teacher and students never get to meet each other, but that the digital connections are fast and easy to use. The intention is to build up the course in such a way that it may prove useful to people with differing historical backgrounds and so that it is possible to apply the methods to diverse periods of history and to places relevant to the students themselves. Thus it should not matter where in the world any individual student finds him- or herself; students should be able to go to materials preserved in archives in their own part of the world and be equipped to subject them to the methods of microhistory. A crucial element in this development project will be to gather information on how best to achieve an interactive relationship between students and teachers over the internet. Here, I would make use of the digital experience built up by people at universities around the world and at institutes like the Reykjavík Academy and other places where the microhistorical experts are to be found. This part of the project would include working out the details of how communications between students and teachers might be managed, what types of projects students would have to undertake, and what precisely the role of the teacher would be in such an arrangement. The object will be to build up around the course an integrated and unified module that allows students and teachers to apply the methods of microhistory in the most constructive ways possible.

Thirdly, I want to attempt to build up a continuing and unified course or program of study at graduate level centered entirely around microhistory. This program will be designed to meet the needs of those who elect to adopt the methods of microhistory from start to finish and apply them in producing their doctoral dissertations. I conceive of this idea being developed in such a way that the material might be useable both in conventional doctoral studies within university departments and also in collaborative work involving two or more academic institutions aimed at building up a course of studies collectively on the internet. This would be a sort of pilot project, envisaged as being applicable to a range of areas within history and intended to facilitate university departments in their use of the internet for university teaching. If this pilot project proves successful, the aim is to attempt a collaborative educational project using the internet and involving some designeted universities around the world.

To my knowledge, no attempt has been made hitherto anywhere in the world to create a full course or program of study centered solely on the methodology of microhistory. However, it should be borne in mind that a sizeable number of scholars have made use of microhistory in their teaching, generally as a complement to and/or in connection with other approaches to social history. This is unsurprising in view of the fact that historians have employed microhistory chiefly as an adjunct to other research models armed with the ability to show up the matter in hand in new and unexpected lights. Even averred microhistorians have been reluctant to ditch older methods of scholarship because of the overriding emphasis placed in historiography on the wider context – ‘the grand narrative’. Thus, as I see it, microhistorians have also foregone a definite scholarly opportunity to put their own mark on the ideology of history and the subjects of their research. For some time now I have advocated the view that it is important to promote microhistory as an independently valid research model fully able to stand on its own feet and direct scholars towards unforeseen perspectives: see, for instance, my article “The Singularization of History: Social History and Microhistory within the Postmodern State of Knowledge”, published in the US journal The Journal of Social History in spring 2003. The intention of the project which is here introduced is to demonstrate the benefits that may accrue from the ideology of microhistory in graduate-level teaching by placing the emphasis on providing young scholars with an opportunity to assimilate it in their work on their doctoral dissertations.

There can, I feel, be no doubt that microhistory is particularly well suited for use as a pedagogical tool. The reasons I consider to be the following:

Microhistorians have traditionally focused on in-depth investigations of smaller units –individuals, families, small communities, or just single events which might or might not be of any wider importance. These sorts of phenomena reveal the diversity that exists within the larger unit. In microhistorical research, individual subjectivity takes on special significance as the most informative source for investigating the motives underlying decisions and actions. In a number of recent publications I have provided a detailed discussion of developments within the field of microhistory and put them into the context of different movements within historiography in countries such as Italy and Germany. Germany, for instance, saw the development of Alltagsgegeschichte (“everyday life history”), which has strong connections with the methods of microhistory.1Finally, these articles look at how microhistory took shape in the English-speaking world in the form of the “the New Cultural History”.

All of these conceptual frameworks have contributed greatly to the development of microhistory as we know it today in the world of the humanities and social sciences. These scholarly traditions have placed a rewarding emphasis on the personal experiences of individuals and the stories, often unusual stories, connected with them. Without any doubt, students often find it easy to relate their own experiences to the kinds of materials favored by microhistorians. As a result of the closeness between the approach and their own personal perspectives, students are thus enabled to immerse themselves in complex historical relationships and gain an understanding of how they are made up. In the creation of the proposed courses and programs of study the emphasis will be on working out from these opportunities and insights offered by the methods of microhistory.

There can be no question that microhistory has been going through a profound period of shaping and reformulation throughout the world in recent years. The signs are that it is currently standing at some kind of parting of the ways. For this reason I would like to make a suggestion that an international conference will be held in the nearest future under the title “Microhistory at the Crossroads”. The aims of the conference would be to review the current position of microhistory and to look into the future and consider the relationships between microhistory and other branches of history. In connection with the organization of the conference it might be intresting to set up an interactive webpage within the site or Microhistory Network, intended to give scholars from around the world a forum for expressing their views on microhistory and its current status within the academic world. One element in the putting together of this webpage will be the course and program of study in microhistory that might be developed over the coming years. It is personally important to me to make full use of the opportunity provided by the international conference and work towards the advancement of microhistory as a pedagogical tool. It is similarly important to make full use of the website as a forum for teaching since a great number of scholars are expected to access the site and become familiar with the project in this way. In this regard I would draw attention to a recent discussion by Marshall Poe in an American historical journal of the ways in which the internet can strengthen professional links between scholars around the world: see Marshall Poe, “‘The List’: on the Coming Reorganization of Historical Study”, Perspectives (May 2002), pp. 44-6, 50.


Over the last 15 years I have made use of the methods of microhistory both in my research and as a tool to build up a better understanding of the roles and functioning of history as an academic discipline. This has included the writing of both articles on methodology and book-length historical studies. The aim behind all this work has been to develop the methodology further and to make microhistorical method a firmer basis for historical research in the future. My wish now is to approach the methods of microhistory from a rather different angle and attempt to investigate whether they can be advanced still further through the combination of teaching and research. It is my view that if microhistory can be developed as a pedagogical method its benefits as a method of academic research will become even more clearly apparent. There are certain weighty arguments in favor of this view:

Microhistory has as yet been little used in research on substantive categories, for instance minority groups, race, ethnicity and gender. Here we have a significant opportunity to demonstrate what the methods of microhistory have to offer in such research. It may also be said that there has been little evidence of the approach in the historiography of the United States, by which I mean that historians specializing in the history of the United States have not used it, although a number of US historians doing research into European history have done so in rich measure. But in light of the preoccupation among US historians with the kinds of substantive categories noted above, microhistory might prove an enormously powerful tool in the discussion of US issues at various periods. I am fully convinced that it is only a matter of time before microhistory is applied deliberately and systematically to the solution of subjects of research relating to American history and it would be great fun to take part is this development. The creation of the webpage is conceived of as a major step in this direction.

Finally, the methods of microhistory provide an opportunity for the development of teaching via the internet and create a basis for collaboration between universities in different countries. This I consider an extremely important consideration and see it as helping to promote the spread of the approach in the coming years. It should now be possible to offer courses over the internet run by institutions like the Center for Microhistorical Research at the Reykjavík Academy and in other univeristy settings, with the aim of serving academic institutions throughout the world. The advantage in such teaching is that it is very easy to adapt the methodology of microhistory to individual regions, places, instances and, indeed, individual people and their aspirations, wherever in the world they may be.

All this work is aimed at identifying and defining new channels for microhistory and seeking ways for it to be applied in research on new subjects. By moving the discussion over to the form of the teaching I feel that new vistas will open up, making it possible to develop the methodology still further in years to come within a fertile international context. But for this to be possible it will be necessary first to try to design a program of study at doctoral level dealing with microhistory and covering all facets of research and how it is put together. This will create opportunities to develop the methodology among those researching new areas, especially from the youngest generation of scholars. It is quite clear that this work will be very demanding and should be driven by the individual needs of students and their subjects of research. What is just as clear is that it is essential to create a structure which encompasses the whole process, and for this the internet is the ideal medium.


As mentioned above, the project has three elements. Of these, the first two are the design of a course on microhistory for teaching within the conventional environment of institutes of learning and a course for delivery over the internet. The thinking behind both these projects is similar, though it is more than likely that each will require different teaching approaches. The central concept is to seek to identify and focus on the methods of microhistory and so to enable students to explore the possibilities offered by these methods. The emphasis will be on periods and categories that have hitherto received little attention from microhistorians and on seeing whether it is possible to go deeper into them using the methods of microhistory.

As mentioned previously, the particular weight here is placed on research on minority groups, groups which history has hitherto largely passed over. Examples would include race, ethnicity, gender and the sub-alter, particularly over the last two or three centuries. The gaze should be directed to areas both within Europe, where the methods of microhistory have so far been applied almost exclusively, and further afield. The course would need to be developed with an eye to extending the methods to new countries and regions and showing how these methods are best suited to revealing the personal experience of individuals of different nations, races and sexes.

In my view it is important to create a single course which would be broken down into small units, but I believe it equally important to set this aim within the proper context of other academic approaches at doctoral level. To this end I wish to develop a study program in which the doctoral course in microhistory will be defined and analyzed. In this, regard would be taken of all stages in the training of doctoral students. One can safely say that this project will demand considerable ingenuity and originality and will need to be developed little by little over some time. The following thus presents only a rough outline of a teaching policy at doctoral level intended to provide a foundation upon which microhistory can make further headway within the intentional academic community.

The study course in microhistory at doctoral level might break down broadly as follows:

1. Theory and Practice: the Methods of Microhistory – Three courses would be offered, all aimed at preparing doctoral students for more concentrated ideological and methodological studies:

  1. historiography – the development of microhistory and the examination of some major historical studies emanating from the ‘Italian school’;

  2. Alltagsgegeschichte (‘everyday life history’) and historical anthropology – developments in Germany and other western countries;

  3. microhistory within the postmodern state of knowledge – the current position and status of microhistory within historical scholarship as a whole.

2. Microhistory Today: Content – Several courses would be offered and a direction taken on particular substantive categories such as:

sex and gender;

sex and crime;

memory and microhistory;

rumors, scandals, trials and history;

education, love and grief;

race, memory and the individual;

transnational connections and ethnicity, etc.

Here it would be important to consider shared characteristics and common points and the aims best suited as focal points in all the courses. The students would thus receive a systematic training in the microhistorical approach, i.e. by exploring certain specific topics and drawing conclusions on the methods applicable.

3. Microhistory and the Future – Here I would place the emphasis on a critique of the status of microhistory and on research. Students would be enabled to familiarize themselves with and review the broader context of this research, form judgments on the validity of microhistorical methods, and select and educe the ones best suited to their needs. At this point students should reach the stage where they can emerge as fully-fledged scholars, prepared to tackle genuine subjects for research. They would choose to present at last one research seminar and use the discussion from it to take their first steps in their doctoral projects. This part would thus take in three elements:

  1. Research seminar I: American history. This seminar would focus on interesting American topics and attempt to deal with them using the methods of microhistory. The focus would be on race, ethnicity and gender – all topics which might benefit greatly from the application of such an approach.

  2. Research seminar II: European style. This would focus on topics from European history, especially topics from the modern period that have so far been largely neglected by microhistorians, and seek to explore new material. The methods of microhistory were largely developed in Europe, but have been mostly applied to a fairly restricted period of time and set of topics. This seminar would seek to take on new topics, mostly from the modern period.

  3. Research seminar III: other areas. This part of the program would center on countries and topics to which microhistory has not traditionally been applied to before. The range of possibilities here is endless and thus would provide one of the most important angles and tests of the whole program.

It should be stated clearly at the outset that this draft program of studies will need refining and adapting over a long period; I believe it is of the utmost importance to build ideas into the courses on the basis of a general overview of the benefits of the method as a whole.


Over the last few years I have made wide use of the methods of microhistory in my work and taken pains to consider critically the ideology surrounding it. I am convinced that microhistory is destined to achieve far greater currency, especially when people come to appreciate its value in research on groups and periods which have so far received little attention. Personally, I find it both important and enticing to have a part in this spread of microhistorical method, for it will, in my view, have considerable significance for the scholarly community in Iceland.

Iceland stands at some distance from the main centers of world learning, and it is thus essential for the scholarly community in the country to, as it were, “bring the world home”. One of the best ways of doing this must be to transfer a part of our work into the realms of the internet; in this way Icelandic scholars will be able to become active participants on the international stage in the field of science and other studies without prohibitive trouble or expense. It is important for scholars like myself whose work has been directed towards developing the ideology of an academic approach that we be able to maintain constant contact with the world outside and those scholars whose interests are closest to my own. For that reason, the project „Developing an English-language MA-course on Microhistory“, under the leadership of the Hungarian scholar István Szijártó, has been an important step towards an international networking with intresting scholars from his country, Norway and Iceland. Hopefully, more microhistorians will taka part in the project which had its first meating at the Reykjavik Academy late August 2008.

It has long been my view that innovations in the ideology of the humanities such as microhistory are best tried out and tested in the classroom, i.e. in the dynamic interplay between teachers and students. Despite the strong international foundation upon which microhistory rests, I must confess that I find the way in which it has developed somewhat disappointing; one could argue that it is looked upon as a fashionable adjunct to traditional social historical research, but not one to be taken too seriously. To my mind, the good news is that the field of microhistory is very much “in the making” and has been developing rapidly over the past few years under strong influence from the postmodern state of scholarly thinking. It is, in this sense, an exciting field of inquiry and one that I am convinced will go on to alter significantly our thinking about how historical processes work. Whether microhistory fulfils this potential depends on whether scholars have the courage to face up to the problems underlying how social history is practiced.

I have already written extensively on the methodology of microhistory but find myself still constantly discovering new angles on its methods and approaches and applications of which I had previously been unaware. This is hardly surprising since this area of research has been growing very fast, but this sense of constant discovery also stems, I feel, in part from the fact that I have been to some extent isolated from the epicenters of historical scholarship. There can be no better opportunity to contribute to the future development of this discipline than to work with doctoral students, and it is my view that this is the best way to achieve still further discoveries in the field of microhistory. I believe that the benefits that microhistory has to offer will not become fully apparent until scholars apply its methods to a far wider range of subjects and problems.

In the context of my own country, Iceland, I am fully convinced that microhistorical research has the power to open up new and exciting ways of looking into specific facets of the country’s history, in particular through the application of its methods to the wealth of first-person sources that have accumulated over the years (autobiographies, diaries, letters, etc.). But above all I see the proposed link-up through the internet as a way of making the whole world an arena for historians, wherever they are, in Iceland every bit as much as anywhere else.

Evaluation and dissemination

It is of great importance to held an international conference on microhistory in the nearest future. There can be no doubt that this gathering will be an ambitious enterprise well placed to bring microhistory into sharper focus. A sizeable group of scholars should be invited from all parts of the world to take part in a program consisting of both workshops and a conference proper and lasting for few days. The aim is to format the webpage – – in such a way that it will provide access to a wide variety of material relating to research and the teaching of microhistory. One aspect will be a fully designed course on microhistory, with the help of members of the Microhistory Network, together with a related program of study aimed at students at doctoral level. This will enable us to circulate these ideas very widely and elicit the views of the most prominent scholars in the field on how the material should best be structured. The gathering itself will also serve to introduce to a wider public the new material already collected and collated for net publication.

It is very likely that this course developed by the Microhistory Network and scholars from the Center for Microhistorcal Research will subsequently be taught in conventional fashion around the world, and this should enable us to make judgments about the potential success of the idea. I have absolutely no doubt that, given time, the idea will flourish, both on the internet and in a conventional classroom-teaching environment, and this will put us in a position to assess what effect the form of teaching might have on the development and advancement of microhistory in general.

Microhistory at a Crossroads – A conference

An international conference on microhistory might be divided into four sections:

A. The development of microhistory since The Cheese and the Worms

In this section two scholars could focus on the historiographical aspect of microhistory, looking at the development in Italy, in the Anglo-Saxon world, and in Germany. The publication of Carlo Ginzburg’s notorious book The Cheese and the Worms marked a beginning of the spread of the microhistorical approach among scholars in other European countries, as well as American scholars focusing on European history.

The main emphasis in this section should be on the developmental aspect of microhistory for the last twenty-five years or so, and how it was effected by other methodologies. Also, what kind of impact did it have on other historical methods in social history? An attempt could be made to evaluate what is to be learned from the steps which have been taken in the last two decades of the twentieth century in terms of the methods of microhistory.

There have been some questions whether the microhistorical approach is a specific method or just a set of ideas which could be adapted to social historical studies of different origins. Some historians have claimed that this looseness has worked for the better for those who have used the microhistorical approach. None has been able to claim that they have defined the definitive method of microhistory. As a result, microhistory can be found in different schools of thoughts within the discipline of history. If this accession is true it is important to ask whether the time has come to put more definite structure to the methods of microhistory and really define what it means to use microhistory in a historical research. In fact, this conference and the seminar is, for sure, a step in that direction!

  1. Microhistory’s Criticism: The Future

It is believed that microhistory is now at some sort of crossroads and it is important to address questions which are geared towards more pressing theoretical consideration for the scholarship of history. In this section an attempt will be made to sketch out the problems microhistory has had in the last decades. Also, this section will address what needs to done to make the methods of microhistory and microhistorians an active players in the international seen of scholarship. To reach that goal it is necessary to draw out the importance of this methological approach.

One of the most pressing issues facing microhistorians is the contexturalization of microhistorical studies. What are the links between micro and macro? Historians tend to embrace interdisciplinary studies, multi dimensional studies and the use of cross sectional data, so few examples are mentioned; is this necessarily the best way of dealing with historical problems? What do microhistorical methods bring to that all-you-can-eat table? Because of the emphasis of linking together the micro- and the macro- dimension, some, in fact, argue that microhistory has never made any difference in the modern historical scholarship. They argue that it has merely functioned as an interesting anecdotal addition to the structural research which has characterized most of social history in the last thirty years.

In this section it is important to try to look critically on the microhistorical approach and possible on the whole business of doing social or cultural history. A new generation of microhistorians are making their presence felt and it is important to see what they bring to the table.

C. Microhistory as Practiced Today

The focus in this section should be on specific area of studies where the presence of microhistory has been felt. For number of years microhistory has had an great impact on Renaissance studies and historical research in the early modern period. It is important to discuss why this has been the case and what have been the contributions of these studies to the understanding of historical processes. Is it possible to identify the ingredientsof the these approaches to history, a common theme or a set of rules they follow? In short: what is the importance of these studies which make them so appealing to scholars doing their research in these time periods?

In this section the focus might be on memory and its connections with the methods of microhistory. The study of memory has become one of the most dynamic area of study in the last ten years or so. This was in part due to the need to evaluate the importance of the millennium became a major concern for human societies all around the globe. Scholars analyzed the direction which individuals and societies had taken for the last century, and where they were headed in the twenty first century. It could possibly be argued that the problem with the study of memory is equivalent to the shortcomings of the microhistorical approach. It lacks some theoretical foundation and a conceptual framework which might take the studies of memory and microhistory towards more a pointed and direct agenda. In this session it is important to consider whether a mutual agenda could be found for the study of microhistory and memory, since both research fields are in the making. The compatibility of microhistory and memory is apparent. The focus of microhistorical studies is most often on small units, like individuals, events or historical concepts. These studies are driven by reliance on memory in historical settings and therefore we believe that microhistory could greatly benefit from a rigorous focus of the studies of memory and vice versa.

D. Microhistory and Modern Historians

Why has microhistory mostly been associated with the study of the Renaissance and the early modern period? Are there some specific problems with the use of the methods of microhistory for topics in the modern period? These are the kind of questions I would like to deal with in this section.

One of the most exciting field of study in history has been research done on the “Others”; postcolonial studies; studies on minorities, gender, etc. These subject matters are often difficult to trace and find good sources to shed light on important issues relating to their history. Microhistorical methods seem to have the answer, since they often deal with a minimum amount of source material and just a tiny pieces of the whole picture. The question is, can microhistory offer a guideline for these areas of study and how that guideline look like?

Also in the modern period, historians deal with problems due to an overwhelming amount of source material. That has created a dilemma for many historians dealing with twentieth century history, namely, that they are forced to walk away from sources which is impossible to deal with because of the large quantity of material. The question needs to be asked: will microhistory serve as a important methodology for the future, since microhistorians have developed a way in which one can deal with a very concentrated areas of study and make generalizations about historical processes. These problems will be addressed in this section of the conference.


The microhistorians placed their emphasis on small units and how people conducted their lives within them. By reducing the scale of observation, microhistorians argued that they are more likely to reveal the complicated function of individual relationships within each and every social setting and they stressed its difference from larger norm. Micohistorians tend to focus on outliers rather than looking for the averageindividual as found by the application of quantitative research methods. Instead, they scrutinize those individuals who did not follow the paths of their average fellow countryman, thus making them their focal point. In microhistory, the term “normal exception” is used to penetrate the importance of this perspective, meaning that each and every one of us do not show our full hand of cards. Seeing what is usually kept hidden from the outside world, we realize that our focus has only been on the “normal exception”; those who in one segment of the society are considered obscure, strange, and even dangerous. They might be, in other circles, at the center of attention and fully accepted in their daily affairs.

Nearly all cases which microhistorians deal with have one thing in common; they all caught the attention of the authorities, thus establishing their archival existence. They illustrate the function of the formal institutions in power and how they handle people’s affairs. In other words, each has much wider application, going well beyond the specific case under examination by the microhistorian. The Italian microhistorian Giovanni Levi put it this way in an article on the methods of microhistory: “[M]icrohistorians have concentrated on the contradictions of normative systems and therefore on the fragmentation, contradictions and plurality of viewpoints which make all systems fluid and open.”2 To be able to illustrate this point, microhistorians have turned to the narrative as an analytical tool or a research method where they get the opportunity to present their findings, show the process by which the conclusions are reach, and demonstrate the holes in our understanding and the subjective nature of the discourse.3

Once again, I belief that the methods of microhistory are extremely well suited for the study of American history, especially the one dealing with minority history; ethnicity, race, and gender. The interesting thing is that it has not been applied to American history in a noticeable fashion; microhistory is, indeed, a European phenomena. I do want to encourage American historians to think about the methods of microhistory and contribute to its development.

American universities are indisputably leading in pedagogical methods and the development of teaching materials on the internet. Many univeristies are internationally renowned for its sophistication in ICT and computer technology; it can call upon some of the world’s most able specialists in this field and has over the last years led the way in experiments in distance learning via the internet. It is important to bring these experts to the research table for the development of microhistory in the future. Microhistorians all over the world already have great experties in both teaching and researching topic with the use of the methods of microhistory. At this point in time it is a neccessity to bring these scholars together and see whether it is possible to take this methology one step further, to create a full program where the methods of microhistory can be fully explored and further developed.


1 See: “Social History Now and Then”, in Microhistory – Conflicting Paths (1998); (with Carlo Ginzburg and David Olafsson) “The Singularization of History”, in Pieces and Molds: About Microhistory and Lost Time (2000); and the article mentioned above, “The Singularization of History: Social History and Microhistory within the Postmodern State of Knowledge”, Journal of Social History 36 (Spring 2003), pp. 701-735. Finally, „Social History as “Sites of Memory”? The Institutionalization of History: Microhistory and the Grand Narrative.“ Journal of Social History Special issue 39:3 (Spring 2006), pp. 891-913; „Social History – Cultural History – Alltagsgeschichte – Microhistory: In-between Methodologies and Conceptual Frameworks.“Journal of Microhistory 1 (2006): (06.11.2006); „What is Microhistory?“ The History New Network ( May 8th 2006.

2 Giovanni Levi, “On Microhistory,” in Peter Burke, ed., New Perspectives on Historical Writing (University Park, Pa.., 1991), p. 107.

3 For good discussions of the importance of storytelling in connection with the methods of microhistory see Guido Ruggiero, Binding Passions: Tales of Magic, Marriage, and Power at the End of the Renaissance (New York, 1993), pp. 18-20.