Podcast, TV & Radio


Your Most Obedient & Humble Servant

Episode 38 — A Rumor That You Abandoned Me

The podcast is about two letters written by Jannote Roustant to Jean Roustant (1 July 1745) and Johanna Fredericha Teller to Ambrosius Teller (28 May 1798), in which the two women deal with the fallout of their absent husbands.

Recorded with Dr Lucas Haasis and Lisa Magnin 

Listen to the Podcast



TV and Videos

Sorting (out) the Prize Papers: what to do with an archive in disarray?

TNA Catalogue Day 2021

In her presentation, Amanda Bevan talks about her work on the Prize Papers, a 20-year cataloguing and digitisation project, and how best to organise and digitise an archive that could really be described as an archive in disarray.



Inclusive theatre project of the 'IGS Helene Lange' school

„GEKAPERT!“ – Ein Schultheater-Projekt in Zeiten von Corona (in German) 

Writing a play based on historical sources - this was the challenge taken on by the “IGS Helene Lange” school’s "Performing Arts" course. Since a live performance of the play was unfortunately not allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the course’s students made a film instead: In cooperation with the “Innovative Hochschule Jade-Oldenburg” (IHJO) and the Prize Papers Project of the University of Oldenburg, they produced “Gekapert!”.



"Prize Papers": Historischer Fund in Oldenburg

TV report on the Prize Papers Project by the NDR Kulturjournal, 20.11.2019 (in German) 

What does the concept of capturing a ship stand for? In the Early Modern Age, the capturing of merchant ships was a common practice of naval warfare to strategically weaken the enemy’s economy. Some of the inventory of ships captured by British privateers has survived to this day in the form of written records, papers and letters - the “Prize Papers”.



NDR "Der Norden liest: Prize Papers“

Literary Reading - Literaturhaus Hamburg - by the NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) of 19 November 2019

An event in the series "Der Norden liest" of the "Kulturjournal," NDR Fernsehen. Under the patronage of Stiftung Lesen. In cooperation with NDR Kultur, the Literaturhaus Hamburg and the Bücherhallen Hamburg. See the programme.

Host: HEINEKOMM, Kulturjournals des NDR Fernsehens
Contributor: Dagmar Freist, Prize Papers Project
Moderator/Discussant: Julia Westlake, NDR
Actors: Lina Beckmann, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg
Music: María Carrasco Gil and Alice Vaz (Violins)



The Prize Papers Project in "BBC The One Show"

Dan Snow discussing the "Prize Papers", 6 Dezember 2018


In the picture Amanda Bevan and Sarah Noble




"Hafenkonzert" NDR: Prize Papers. Geschrieben, nie angekommen

Radio programme by the NDR - Nordeutscher Rundfunk of the 28 November 2021 (in German) 

  • Letters that never arrived. Such packets of letters can be found in the Prize Papers archive by the thousands. Families and business partners waited in vain for a message.
  • Together with the archive in London, the Prize Papers team at the University of Oldenburg is working on sifting through and digitising the collection.
  • Dr. Lucas Haasis has found the complete collection of documents from the Bremen ship 'Concordia' in the Prize Papers. 'This is the dream of every historian'.
  • In addition to a shopping list of the ship's cook, the writing exercises of the sailor Johan Pohl are also among the finds from the 'Concordia'. Here he practised a christening poem for his daughter.
  • This private archive of letters and documents belonged to a suspicious passenger on the "Concordia": a French privateer captain was on board when the English captured the ship.
  • This letter to Bremen never reached its addressee. As an exception, the street is also indicated here: Buntenthor. Interesting: The @-sign, which we know today from email addresses and which was already used at that time.
  • A splendid hall in Hamburg's Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. It once belonged to the merchant Nicolaus Gottlieb Lütkens. The Prize Papers archive contains many of his letters.
  • Searching for clues at the Jewish Cemetery in Altona. Prize Papers project manager Dagmar Freist and Irina von Jagow from the Foundation for the Preservation of Historical Monuments visit the grave of the Jewish merchant Jacob Curiel.
  • Amanda Bevan (left) handles the Prize Papers project at the National Archives in London. 'When you read these documents, it takes you to a distant ocean, a distant ship, a distant island.'
  • Meike Meiners and Oskar Ketelhut from Hamburg's Ohnsorg Theatre. For the Hamburg Harbour Concert, they have read letters written three hundred years ago and lend their voices to the people of that time.

Documents that no one has read for three hundred years: The Prize Papers are a treasure - not of gold, but of paper. The documents are snapshots that open the door to a distant time: Listen to a moving two-hour radio report on the project by Petra Volquardsen and Peter Helling. 

See also:

Volquardsen, Petra/Hellin, Peter: Prize Papers. Geschrieben, nie angekommen, in: Norddeutscher Rundfunk, 22.10.2021. Click here to read the report.



Radio Interview with "Deutschlandfunk" (in German)

19 March 2019

Interview with Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist



CBC Interview: Massive trove of centuries-old undelivered mail seized by British warships going online

CBC as it happens (CAN), 13 September 2018, Interview with Dagmar Freist


Goodyear, Sheena/Cooper,Sarah: Massive trove of centuries-old undelivered mail seized by British warships going online, 13.09.2018, in CBC Radio. 

Click here to read the interview.



Radio Interview Bremen 4 - Zebra Vier Kindersendung (in German)

26 August 2018

Interview with Dr. Lucas Haasis and
Dr. Annika Raapke

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 

Part 4