Evidence from the Archives of Societies: Institutional Sources

  • Christian Pfister


Records kept by official institutions usually provide the most precise, continuous, and objective information for historical climatology. These sources include official records of grape and cereal harvests, port records, and ships’ logbooks, among others. Nevertheless, use of these sources requires critical evaluation of their institutional framework and the stability and validity of any climate proxies they may contain, such as plant or ice phenology. This chapter reviews the major types of institutional sources employed by historical climatologists and advice for their use, with a focus on early modern Europe.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Pfister
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of History, Oeschger Centre for Climate ChangeBernSwitzerland

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