Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Domesday Book

In 1085, William the Conqueror commissioned a great survey to discover the resources and taxable values of all the boroughs and manors in England. He wanted to discover who owned what, how much it was worth, and how much was owed to him as King. It was a massive enterprise, and the record of that survey, Domesday Book, was a remarkable achievement.

The UK National Archives has made the Domesday Book available online. The site notes, "You can search by the names of places or people, or by folio reference. A folio might contain entries for several places and you can see examples in the section Images of the folio and translation below. The indexes of people and places were compiled by Editions Alecto. There is a specific search form for Domesday. "

Other features at the site include:

Discover Domesday explains why Domesday was created and how you can interpret it. You can learn how the survey was carried out, what questions were asked, how the findings were written up and how its legacy has been preserved for more than 900 years. It gives lots of examples of Domesday folios, and shows you how to interpret an entry. (Description from the site.)

World of Domesday explores life in eleventh century England, and the rich landscape William the Conqueror inherited. You will read about the lives of the people, the landscape and the life in towns and villages. (Description from the site.)

This is a great primary resource and am sure with creativity could be used to teach students about this time in English history. My thanks to the UK National Archives for putting it online in a searchable format.

1 comment:

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