Discussion:
Finding Aids for records at AALT?
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Stewart Baldwin
2018-01-14 22:12:18 UTC
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Working with the fantastic collection of digitized records at the
University of Houston's AALT site is at the same time exciting (because
of the scope of the available records) and frustrating (because of
insufficient finding aids).  An appendix to the Twenty-fourth Annual
Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records (1863) contains a long
list of indexes, calendars, and other finding aids for much of the
records there, most of them in manuscript.  Needless to say, this list
is very out of date (and I have seen less complete later lists), but it
seems to be that some of the items on this list would be very useful
finding aids for the material at AALT.  Are there any plans to digitize
some of these older manuscript finding aids?  Of course, this would not
be as useful as modern indexes, but it would make an agreeable
substitute for those records which don't yet have a modern index. I have
already found several useful needles in the haystack by doing
page-by-page searches in some of these old court records, but I would
welcome anything that would narrow down these searches.  Any suggestions?

Stewart Baldwin
Rhys Howitt
2018-01-17 10:32:53 UTC
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You can go a long way with Google searches "site:http://aalt.law.uh.edu/ <yourname>". Note that AALT features a lot of alternative spellings, so you need to be rather imaginative to find everything.

Rhys Howitt
Goulburn NSW Australia
Vance Mead
2018-01-17 13:03:02 UTC
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A few of the old indexes are online, for example C33, Chancery Orders and Decrees for Elizabeth's reign. I don't suppose there are plans to digitise more.

Most of the effort now is on WAALT, which has a search function. Just a rough guess, but I think most of the work has focused on the 16th and 17th centuries, for example Chancery (C78), and Star Chamber (STAC).

We have been indexing these records for almost ten years and less than 10% has been done.

http://www.uh.edu/waalt/index.php/Main_Page
c***@gmail.com
2018-05-25 09:08:33 UTC
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Dear Vance
Just wanted to record my appreciation of the work which Rosemary and yourself have dedicated to the indexing of Common Pleas under CP40. These have added a new perspective to my family history investigations and improved by reading of mediaeval Latin.

Graham Johnson, Sussex, England
Vance Mead
2018-05-25 15:18:42 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Dear Vance
Just wanted to record my appreciation of the work which Rosemary and yourself have dedicated to the indexing of Common Pleas under CP40. These have added a new perspective to my family history investigations and improved by reading of mediaeval Latin.
Graham Johnson, Sussex, England
Thanks Graham. I'm glad these have been useful.
Vance
Matt Tompkins
2018-05-27 09:02:41 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Dear Vance
Just wanted to record my appreciation of the work which Rosemary and yourself have dedicated to the indexing of Common Pleas under CP40. These have added a new perspective to my family history investigations and improved by reading of mediaeval Latin.
Graham Johnson, Sussex, England
It's not just family historians who appreciate Vance and Rosemary's work. A few days ago I attended a meeting of the Cambridge University Population Group at which a paper was presented which used a statistical analysis of the occupations of defendants to debt and trespass actions listed in their indexes to cast light on the early origins of the Industrial Revolution.
Vance Mead
2018-05-27 10:03:30 UTC
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Thanks for telling me about that the other day, Matt. I had been familiar with the work of Wrigley and Schofield, but there's a lot of stuff there that's new to me. Below is one of the pages that talks about occupational structure.

https://www.campop.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/occupationalstructure/maleocccommonpleas/
Post by Matt Tompkins
It's not just family historians who appreciate Vance and Rosemary's work. A few days ago I attended a meeting of the Cambridge University Population Group at which a paper was presented which used a statistical analysis of the occupations of defendants to debt and trespass actions listed in their indexes to cast light on the early origins of the Industrial Revolution.
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