Kehr, Paul Fridolin

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Protestant historian of the papacy; b. Waltershausen (Thuringia), Germany, Dec. 26, 1860; d. Wässerndorf, near Würzburg, Nov. 9, 1944. Kehr began his academic career as a collaborator on the Monumenta Germaniae historia and taught at Marburg in 1893. In 1895 he was nominated to the chair in medieval history at Göttingen. In 1896 he suggested that the Academy of Göttingen carefully collect and publish all pontifical documents preceding the reign of Innocent III (1198). He proposed that all such documents, edited and unedited, recensions, originals, and copies, in all the archives of Europe, be investigated critically and scientifically. The resulting project came to be known as the Regesta Pontificum Romanorum. The organization for the reporting of these documents was planned along regional and diocesan lines. Kehr's first volume was published in Rome (1906). It and the volumes that followed were consistently notable for their precision and meticulous methodology. For his impressive achievement in shedding further light upon the growth and development of the papacy, pius xi (1931) financially assisted Kehr in founding the "Pius-Stiftung für Papst-Urkunden und mittelalterliche Gesdichts-forschung." Since his death additional volumes have appeared. As present, Italia Pontifica has reached eight volumes; Germania Pontificia, three volumes. Similar collections for France, England, Portugal, and Spain either have appeared or are in preparation.

Bibliography: w. holtzmann, Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters 8 (1950) 2658. o. vasella, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 6:102103.

[b. f. scherer]