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Original Domesday Book now On-line

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  • Helen Schultz
    This was posted on SCA-Cooks... I thought it might be of some small interest here. ~~Meisterin Katarina Helene ... http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/ Digital
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 16, 2008
      This was posted on SCA-Cooks... I thought it might be of some small interest here.
       
      ~~Meisterin Katarina Helene


      http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/

       Digital databases for the Domesday Book

       "Not even one ox, nor one cow, nor one pig was left out." But what  
      William the Conqueror didn't have in the Domesday Book was an easy  
      way of searching its reams of data. It has taken more than 900  
      years, but at last the internet has provided a solution.

       An academic at Hull University has produced the world's first  
      complete, freely available online version.

       Professor John Palmer, whose work on the Domesday Book stretches  
      back 25 years, has transformed its handwritten parchment pages into  
      a database with searchable indexes, a detailed commentary and the  
      ability to organise all its statistics in a tabulated format.

       The Domesday Book, the oldest and most famous public record, was  
      based on the 1086 great survey of England.

       There would be nothing like it in England again until the censuses  
      of the 19th century.

       But for nearly 1000 years it has been inaccessible to most people  
      and difficult to understand. There are costly CD-Rom translations,  
      and the UK's National Archives provides online searches, but Palmer  
      has coded and tagged terms so they can be automatically retrieved  
      and analysed.

       His software makes it possible to isolate certain variables and  
      conduct several searches at once. The results can be displayed as a  
      map, table or translated text, or as a combination of formats.

       The three-year project was funded by a £250,000 ($617, 000) grant  
      from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

       Palmer, who worked on the project with his son, Matt, said: "My  
      interest in Domesday began in about 1980 as a teaching project ...  
      It developed into a research interest for the 900th anniversary in  
      1986, but computers weren't powerful enough then."

       Written in Latin, the Domesday Book lists places, landowners and  
      tenants, tax assessments, cultivated land, numbers of oxen and  
      plough teams, property values, legal claims, illegal activity and  
      social classes such as freemen, villeins, smallholders, cottagers,  
      slaves, priests and burgesses.

       Palmer said: "No English medieval historian can ignore the book  
      because it's such an important source for social and economic  
      medieval history."
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