In 2024, The Social Sciences Archive (also known as the Alfred Schutz Memorial Archive, named after Alfred Schutz), housed at the University of Konstanz, celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The Archive had its origins when Carl Mayer, a sociologist of religion who was compelled to emigrate from Germany in 1933, returned to teach as a visiting professor at the University of Konstanz during the winter semester of 1973/74. During this time, he conceived the idea of safeguarding the available materials of emigrated scholars, thereby preserving their intellectual contributions. Mayer actively encouraged Thomas Luckmann’s assistants, Richard Grathoff and Walter Sprondel, to collaborate on establishing a research institution dedicated to collecting the legacies of renowned emigrated social scientists and advancing their theoretical frameworks through systematic investigations. This collaborative endeavor culminated in the establishment of the Social Science Archive Konstanz, which embarked on its scholarly journey in the year 1974.
In the fall of 2002, the Social Science Archive was designated as the official central archive of the German Sociological Association, entrusted with the task of conducting research on the history of the discipline. Since then, the archive has consistently expanded its collection, enabling the pursuit of research into additional periods in the field of the history of sociology.
The Social Science Archive not only serves as a collection point for estates and materials but also actively engages in research endeavors, exploring thematic connections with the archived materials. The Archive’s research has focused on four key areas: analyzing the history of the social sciences, examining the emigration of social scientists after 1933, reconstructing central concepts of the sociological theory of action, and conducting research projects and colloquia. The evaluation of archive materials uncovers previously unknown aspects of the history of the social sciences, and the investigations of the emigration of social scientists demonstrate the impact of such emigration on German sociology, academic life, and the migration of ideas. The Archive also goes beyond historical analysis by relating reconstructed theory approaches to current research topics and addressing contemporary theoretical and empirical questions. Additionally, it applies theoretical results to empirical research and organizes colloquia to foster interdisciplinary discussions with researchers from around the world.
The Social Science Archive functions as a repository for a wealth of academic trajectories and personal stories, weaving together the shared narratives that capture the diverse journeys of numerous individuals and the collaborative efforts of dynamic working groups. The Archive is a hub of engagement for aspiring young scholars, students, and esteemed experts in the field. It is here that researchers encounter not only the scientific legacies of distinguished past social scientists, but also get glimpses into their personal lives through handwritten notes and, as a result, researchers can thereby showcase both their intellectual prowess and humanity. Researchers delve into their interests, fascinations, thought processes, writing styles, and arguments. Moreover, the Archive fosters connections between scholars themselves, providing a space for face-to-face communication, intellectual exchange, and stimulating conversations over a cup of coffee. It acts as a worldwide platform where scientists and intellectuals from diverse backgrounds can engage in meaningful discussions and gain new insights.
The Social Science Archive also actively promotes cross-cultural collaborations. By bringing together researchers from countries such as Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, USA, Brazil, Austria, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, and many others, the Archive creates a space for exchange and cooperation across borders. It encourages scholars to share their unique perspectives, cultural influences, and research approaches, fostering a rich tapestry of cross-cultural understanding. Through these partnerships, the Archive serves as a catalyst for the emergence of new ideas, experiences, and impulses, further enriching scholarly discourse.
On this occasion, we welcome researchers who have conducted studies at the Archive to contribute to our special commemorative issue. This issue seeks to recognize the Archive’s notable impact on advancing scholarship. The call for papers provides an opportunity for reflection on the Archive’s importance and its significant contributions to the field. Researchers who have conducted studies at the Archive or participated in any other activity, such as colloquia or empirical research collaboration, are invited to commemorate the anniversary by submitting either a concise essay outlining their perspective on the Archive’s significance and contributions or a more comprehensive essay that showcases the research conducted during their time at the Archive.
Papers should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2024.