The Stapfer-Enquête: data source

The Stapfer-Enquête is a survey of the school situation in the Helvetic Republic. It is named after its initiator, education minister Philipp Albert Stapfer (1766–1840).

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The revolutionary government installed in 1798 launched 15 surveys during its first year in office, with the aim of gathering knowledge about the situation in the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803). 

The Stapfer-Enquête of 1799 is a survey of the school situation initiated by education minister Philipp Albert Stapfer (1766–1840). Keen to base schools policy on facts, he drew up a standardised questionnaire containing some 60 questions. Teachers – including a small number of women – provided information on the local situation, teaching, and the personal and economic circumstances of their work. 

The handwritten answers provided by around 2,500 schools and teachers are held in the Swiss Federal Archives (fonds of the Central Archive of the Helvetic Republic, series B0#C.02.3.1 Erziehung; Kantone [in German]). 

A team from the University of Bern transcribed the handwritten responses and compiled them into a database.


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