In 1985, the “Spener Research Center” was established in connection with the academic chair held by Johannes Wallmann. It was financed by the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (DFG) (German Research Foundation).
The initial description of tasks was:
- Development of the specific conception and the editorialprinciples of the edition.
- Editing and publication of the “Letters from the Frankfurt Period“.
The first research associate in the Spener Research Center was Udo Sträter (1985-1990), who was followed by Markus Matthias (1990-1993). From 1993 to 2001, Martin Friedrich was entrusted with the editing of the “Letters from the Frankfurt Period“.
Expansion of the Research Center:
In 1993, work on the edition of the “Letters from the Dresden Period” began, in addition to the editing of the „Frankfurt Letters“.
The first research associate was Klaus vom Orde (1993-2000).
The two parts of the project were joined together again when only one research position was financed by the DFG. This position was occupied by Peter Blastenbrei beginning in 2002.
When Johannes Wallmann moved to Humboldt University in Berlin, the Spener Research Center was transferred there, too. The first research associate was Peter Blastenbrei (2002-2007), followed by Markus Matthias (2007-2008,) and finally by Klaus vom Orde (2008-2010).
Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig
The edition of Spener’s “Correspondence with August Hermann Francke” was edited under the direction of Udo Sträter by Ulrike Witt and Veronika Albrecht-Birkner (since 1996; published in 2006).
When the funding of the Spener Research Center in Berlin by the DFG ended in 2010, Udo Sträter petitioned for a continuation of the edition as a project of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig. At the heart of this stage lies the work on the “Letters from the Berlin Period“, to which the module “Correspondence with Adam Rechenberg” also belongs. The modules with the letters from the Frankfurt and Dresden periods also can be completed.
The edition of Spener letters has been continued since July, 2011, as a project of the Academy, with four research associates.