ERNiE: The Manual

The Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe is accessed in a browser at

Contents of this manual

  1. Top menu and search box; sorting the list view
  2. The Encyclopedia and its articles; The Bibliography; contributors
  3. Scenario buttons, view modes and visualizations
  4. Materials: Letters, Writings, Music, Paintings, Monuments, Sites, Currency, Exhibitions [this page]
  5. Making your own ERNiE selections
  6. Further references and information, copyright, feedback


ERNiE uses its internet version to provide as many historical examples as possible to illustrate the nature and development of Romantic Nationalism; as a result, ERNiE functions as a cross-linked repertory of relevant materials as well as an Encylopedia.
Expansion of the Materials sections is ongoing; we warmly welcome any suggestions for additions. (Please use the Online Feedback Form to bring these to our attention.)
The Materials fall into a number of categories, each of which has its own tab in the top menu.

1. Letters

This dataset is meant to illustrate the connectivity of nationally-minded cultural practices in the nineteenth century. It contains the metadata of correspondences of men like Walter Scott, the Grimm brothers, E.M. Arndt, Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Rasmus Rask and Prosper Mérimée. The dataset captures date and place of sender/addressee and visualizes these on a map of Europe or in a social graph. (Instructions on how to control the visualizations are in the previous part of this manual.) Some relevant datasets are presented as scenarios. The full text of the letters is not included as yet.

2. Writings

The texts in this dataset can be of a literary nature (verse, drama or prose fiction), or discursive disquisition. The texts are searchable by genre and author and sortable by date and cultural community. Brief texts are given online in the web interface. Medium-length texts are rendered in PDF – depending on your local setting, you may, for the sake of legibility, open these in a new window or download them. Long texts may be given as hyperlinks to trusted internet repositories such as

3. Music

The dataset contains two aspects of musical culture in Romantic-Nationalist Europe: the movements of certain representative composers (all of these mapped as visualization scenarios) and title lists of nationally-themed compositions. These are available in checklist form; a quarter of the titles have illustrative audio sound samples.

Besides ’classical’ music (operas and symphonic works, with a special scenario for the important Romantic-National genre of the Rhapsody) there is also a substantial section of patriotic songs intended for communal singing. The lyrics of these songs are given for the most part in the Writings dataset (above, nr. 2).

4. Paintings

The emphasis is on history paintings, but rustic genre paintings, portraits, allegories etc. are also covered. These genres can be selected from the Search box. The Search box also allows you to filter by Cultural Community (“nationality”) or for different media: tile tableaux, murals etc. A special selection criterion is that of “reference period”: the century that a history painting refers back to. Painters can be searched individually by typing their name into the Search box.

5. Monuments

The emphasis is on commemorative statues. Reference period and Cultural Community (“nationality”) can be selected from the Search box, and the dataset can be filtered for social markers of commemorated figures (writers, clerics, monarchs, women etc.), as well as by reference period.

6. Sites

This dataset covers buildings and landmarks with a national-symbolical function. In many cases, such sites are repositories of paintings, murals or statues, and are cross-linked to these by means of their relational tabs.

Many sites were constructed for a World Fair and as such are cross-linked to the dataset Exhibitions (nr. 8, below).

7. Currency

This dataset contains both banknotes and postage stamps, as illustrations of the “banal” afterlife of Romantic nationalism. They can be sorted by country of issue. In principle, the postage stamp dataset only aims to include items that are dedicated to memory figures who are also covered in other mnemonic media such as statues or banknotes. A visualization of the postage stamp dataset is described and explained in the Visualizations section of this manual.

8. Exhibitions

World fairs and similar exhibitions proved to be an important platform for the transnational display and global “branding” of nation-states, (ex-)colonies and regions. This dataset lists the most important ones.

9. Portraits

A gallery of the historical individuals covered in the Encyclopedia.