portraitSchlumbohmJürgen Schlumbohm is a German historian specialising in the social, cultural and economic history of Europe during the seventeenth to nineteenth century. He has been a permanent senior fellow of the Max Planck Institute for History, Göttingen, and has taught at several universities in Germany and other countries, including Oldenburg, Brunswick, Göttingen, Los Angeles (UCLA), Paris and St Petersburg. Now he is a freelance historian.

His research interests include:

  • family, kinship and childhood
  • childbirth and midwifery
  • historical demography
  • rural societies

His latest monograph is on anonymous births in the nineteenth century: „Verbotene Liebe, verborgene Kinder: Das Geheime Buch des Göttinger Geburtshospitals, 1794-1857, “ Göttingen: Wallstein 2018.

A newly discovered source, the „Secret Book“ of Göttingen maternity hospital, gives unusual insights into hidden affairs in the middle classes. Family strategies of concealment can be followed, as well as the consequences they had for the illegitimate mother, father and child.


Earlier, he published a monograph on Göttingen University’s maternity hospital and its patients: Lebendige Phantome. Ein Entbindungshospital und seine Patientinnen 1751-1830, Göttingen: Wallstein 2012.



Currently, Jürgen Schlumbohm is working on anonymous births, a topic hotly debated in several European countries, and relevant already in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. On this problem, he has published several articles in German.

„Ein betagter Geistlicher in ‚schauderhafter Lage‘: Ein Konflikt um das dem Amt und Alter angemessene Verhalten (1843/44),“ in Sven Petersen, Dominik Collet, Marian Füssel (eds), Umwelten. Ereignisse, Räume und Erfahrungen in der Frühen Neuzeit. Festschrift für Manfred Jakubowski-Tiessen, Göttingen: V&R unipress 2015, pp. 269-287.

„Das ‚Geheime Buch‘ des Dr. Friedrich Benjamin Osiander: Anonyme Geburten im Göttinger Accouchierhaus 1794-1819,“ Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte 32. 2014, pp. 137-166.

„Nichteheliche Patchworkfamilien am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts: Stud. med. Georg Gatterer und die Mütter seiner Kinder,“ Göttinger Jahrbuch 61. 2013, pp. 221-238.


Recent publications in English, French and Italian include

“Saving Mothers’ and Children’s Lives? The Performance of German Lying-in Hospitals in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 87. 2013, pp. 1-31.

“Poor Relief and Health Care: British Lying-in Charities and German Public Hospitals Compared,” in Franceso Ammannati (ed.), Assistenza e solidarietà in Europa secc. XIII – XVIII/ Social Assistence and Solidarity in Europe from the 13th to the 18th Centuries (Atti delle Settimane di Studi e altri Convegni, 44), Florence: Firenze University Press 2013, pp. 17-29.

« La diversité des régions linières en Allemagne (XVIIe – début du XIXe siècle), » in Jean-Michel Minovez, Catherine Verna, Liliane Hilaire-Pérez (eds), Les industries rurales dans l’Europe médiévale et moderne (Collection Flaran, 33), Toulouse : Presses Universitaires du Mirail 2013, pp. 265-279.

« Il difficile ingresso nella professione: un uomo come ostetrico nel tardo Settecento, » in: Monica Ferrari, Paolo Mazzarello (eds), Formare alle professioni. Figure della sanità, Milano : Franco Angeli 2010, pp. 171-183.

“State, Church and Family in Early Modern German-Speaking Protestant Territories: a Comment,” in Anna Bellavitis, Isabelle Chabot (eds), Famiglie e poteri in Italia tra medioevo ed età moderna (Collection de l’Ecole Française de Rome, 422). Rome : Ecole Française de Rome 2009, pp. 77-91.

“The practice of practical education: Male students and female apprentices in the lying-in hospital of Göttingen University, 1792-1815,” Medical history 51, 2007, pp. 3-36.

Italian version: “La prassi dell’educazione pratica: Studenti uomini e apprendiste donne nella clinica ostetrica dell’Università di Gottinga, 1792-1815,” in Maria Pia Paoli, ed., Saperi a confronto nell’Europa dei secoli XIII-XIX (Seminari e Convegni, 18). Pisa: Edizioni della Normale 2009, pp. 413-463.

“Strong Myths and Flexible Practices: House and Stem Family in Germany,” in Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux, Emiko Ochiai (eds.), The Stem Family in Eurasian Perspective: Revisiting House Societies, 17th – 20th Centuries (Population, Family and Society, 10). Bern etc.: Peter Lang 2009, pp. 81-102.

« Proximité et distance: Relations entre frères et soeurs adultes dans une société rurale d’Allemagne, 1770-1860, » in: Michel Oris, Guy Brunet, Eric Widmer, Alain Bideau (eds), Les fratries: Une démographie sociale de la germanité (Population, famille et société – Population, Family and Society, 6), Bern etc.: Peter Lang 2007, pp. 165-180.

“The School of Life: Reflections on Socialization in Preindustrial Germany,” in Andrea Immel, Michael Witmore (eds.), Childhood and Children’s Books in Early Modern Europe, 1550-1800 (Children’s Literature and Culture, 38). New York: Routledge 2006, pp. 305-327.

« Les limites du savoir: médecin et femmes enceintes à la maternité de l’université de Göttingen aux alentours de 1800, » Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine 52, 1. 2005, pp. 64-94.

© Copyright 2015 Jürgen Schlumbohm, all rights reserved.