Kiel University
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
CAU - right up there for 350 years

The “Who is Who” at Kiel University

The database, containing a list of all professors at Kiel University, is growing continuously. In 2015, the year of the 350th anniversary, it is scheduled to go live.

The “Kieler Professorenkatalog” (Catalogue of Professors at Kiel University) is the title of the research centre that was created and financed by the Governing Board and which was placed under the control of the chair of Regional History in May 2010. Since then, historian Swantje Piotrowski along with research assistants have been analysing the curriculum vitae of about 1,800 people, who have held a professorship at Kiel University between 1918 and 1965. In addition, prior to this, around 600 professorships have so far not been accurately recorded in the references made by Friedrich Volbehr and Richard Weyl. As expected, women simply never appeared in this list. “From 1918 to 1965, only eight women taught at Kiel University”, says Professor Oliver Auge, chairperson and project leader. Naturally, this is not the case for todays universities. “Therefore, we are trying to include all male and female professors who have been employed at CAU since 1965.”

Due to data protection reasons, it is almost impossible to take into account all professors up to this day. “That is why the catalogue became somewhat inaccurate after 1965”, declares Auge. “It is our aim to bring it up to date as much as possible.” A second phase of the project – the registration of about another 6,000 people – will probably be starting after the jubilee.

Until then, Swantje Piotrowski and her team will research individual curriculum vitas of 1,800 people. “A mere list of names is not very useful”, stresses the historian. “We want to create a reference for all these names.” Therefore, she and her assistants are researching facts that go far beyond the works of Volbehr and Weyl. Besides personal data, scientific profile and activities undertaken by the people at Kiel University, personal relations such as parents, partners or even possible academic career for their offspring are of interest. “For example, we are interested in finding out whether the sons and daughters also held a professorship at the same university – or maybe even the same professorship as the father. This happened in the 20th century exactly as it did during the 17th”, says Piotrowski.

This comprehensive analysis of people at Kiel University makes the catalogue valuable for future research. “For example, it allows us to discover whether generations of professors do exist, and reveal any employment patterns“, adds Auge. Under the definition of employment patterns, the historian appreciates, for example, that a regular exchange of professors is important between certain universities, for instance Kiel and Göttingen. Overall, the collected data can be used as a presentable signboard for Kiel University which includes its networking and relevant research achievements. It can also help with amazing topics, such as allowing the continuation with the work on NS-history of Kiel University.

The team of researchers put a strong emphasis on the quality of the information. Firstly, they search for secondary literature for relevant facts. Besides the academic directory, another valuable source of information is the publication “Christina Albertina”. “We have also put effort into working through the compilation of lecture modules”, reports Piotrowski. To compare the data, as a last resort, so to speak, personnel files were also looked at. The data was collected into a uniformed matrix and submitted to the register.

The catalogue will be presented at the jubilee – made possible by the collaboration with the working group communication systems led by Professor Norbert Luttenberger, who is using the latest technologies of the “Semantic Web”. With this, the idea of the catalogue follows the guidelines towards a modern requirement of historical scientific research and in view of the many networking possibilities, provides various opportunities for researching the history of institutes, academic and cultural history. The project will run until the end of 2015. A corresponding website will be installed by the end of 2014. The catalogue as such, will be presented to the public during the jubilee festivities in April 2015 at the university library.

Call for participation

Professors who have been appointed after 1965, can only be included in the catalogue if they provide the historians with their data and give their consent to its use. Professor Oliver Auge and Swantje Piotrowski ask all current professors at Kiel University to participate. Necessary forms (declaration of consent, questionnaire) can be downloaded at They should be sent to the research centre “Kieler Professorenkatalog”. “Naturally, the digital presentation will be covered by data protection. Therefore, you can reserve the right to change the content as well as delete information”, stresses Piotrowski.

CAU 350+ Zeichen

As part of the 350-year anniversary, we would like to make 350 positive marks together with you. Submit your personal experiences with reference to Kiel University!