[Sca-cooks] William the Conquerors Domesday Book online

Heleen Greenwald Heleen at ptd.net
Fri Feb 15 21:24:25 PST 2008

Sorry this isn't food content, exactly, but I thought y'all might be  
interested anyway.

> Subject: William the Conquerors Domesday Book online
> 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."
> Genealoblogued by Jean-Yves BAXTER on 12 February 2008, 14:41

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