Charters are documents that record legal acts, especially donations or exchanges of property and similar agreements.

Surviving charters from the eleventh and twelfth centuries are rare from this region, especially originals. Most were issued by the German rulers, regional bishops, or abbots/abbesses of monasteries, with only a few by local nobles. Although uncommon before 1200, charters are nevertheless invaluable sources for the region, because they tell us about churches' and lords' property holdings, about local social networks, and about aspects of the law.  Once in a while, they offer a fragmentary snapshot of everyday life.