(probably from vakus and the German Buch —book), a list of peasant households and their feudal obligations in Estonia and Latvia.
The oldest vakenbuch dates to the first half of the 14th century. From the 17th century all the peasants’ obligations and state taxes were entered in the vakenbuch. In conjunction with the so-called reduction at the end of the 17th century, the Swedish authorities introduced uniform vakenbuchs on all state estates. Under the law of 1804 vakenbuchs were also introduced on privately owned estates. Vakenbuchs were similar to Austrian urbana and western Ukrainian inventories. They helped fix feudal rents at a particular level. The many vakenbuchs that have been preserved are a major source for the study of the agrarian history of the Baltic region.
KH. M. LIGI