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Domesday Book digitised in online database

11th August 2010

A new online database will allow historians a simple means for viewing and handling information recorded about English towns in the Domesday Book.

Experts at the University of Cambridge and King's College London have digitised the details of the survey, which was collected between 1085 and 1086 when William the Conqueror was consolidating his power.

The database, which can be accessed for free at http://domesday.pase.ac.uk, provides a number of useful features. One function allows people to find out who owned their town or village during the conquest and create maps showing what other holdings these landlords had across the country.

Dr Stephen Baxter, a medieval historian from King's College London, highlighted the difficulties the team faced in creating the resource, but claimed it will be a 'phenomenally useful research tool'.

'Essentially, it's now possible for anyone to do in a few seconds what it has taken scholars weeks to achieve in the past,' he commented.

In June, Cambridge University Library announced plans to convert thousands of rare science and religious manuscripts into an electronic format to preserve them for posterity.
 

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