Digital edition: The international business correspondence of L. Kniffler & Co. (1859-1876)

Katja Schmidtpott Discussion

Dear list members,

the German trading company L. Kniffler & Co. was founded in Nagasaki in 1859. Renamed C. Illies & Co. in 1880, it has been active in trade between Europe and Asia until today and can thus look back on an exceptionally long tradition.

From the early years of the company, the so-called "Kniffler period“ (1859-1880), 156 business letters have been preserved in the company archives of C. Illies & Co. (Hamburg). Now they have been published in the form of a digital edition, which may be of interest to researchers in the history of European trade with Asia in the 19th century.

The edition contains:

- transcriptions of the letters

- English translations of the German letters

- facsimiles

- annotations

- explanatory notes (German/English) on the history of the company and the sources

The edition is searchable by keywords (names of persons, companies, places, goods, etc.). 

A company history of C. Illies & Co. was published in 2009. 

Kind regards,

Katja Schmidtpott


Prof. Dr. Katja Schmidtpott

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Faculty of East Asian Studies

Japanese History