I’ve just found a terrific website called Connected Histories I’d like to share that brings together 11 major digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain (1500-1900), with a single search that allows the sophisticated searching of names places and dates, and the ability to save, connect and even share resources within your personal workspace.
It is to be expected that some of the sites are pay per view or subscription, but many are free to the Higher Education Community. All can be searched free by name before viewing full entries or images.
The following resources and guides are geared toward the family historian and can be searched across a single portal:
British Newspapers 1600-1900: The most comprehensive digital historic British newspaper archive in existence, with 3 million pages of historic newspapers, newsbooks and ephemera from national and regional papers.
The Church of England Clergy Database: A database containing details of the careers of more than 130,000 clergymen of the Church of England between 1540 and 1835, from over 50 archives in England and Wales.
London Lives 1600-1900: London Lives provides a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscript pages from eight London archives and 15 datasets, giving access to 3.5 million names
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers: The Parliamentary Papers gives access to page images and searchable full text for over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers and supplementary information from 1688 onwards.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey online: The Old Bailey Online contains accounts of the trials conducted at London’s central criminal court between 1674 and 1913; and also the Ordinary’s Accounts – detailed narratives of the lives and deaths of convicts executed at Tyburn, published between 1676 and 1772.
Family History: Because the names in all Connected Histories resources have been marked up or tagged, genealogical research using this website is easy and rewarding.
Crime and Justice: Connected Histories includes a rich body of evidence on crime, the prosecution of crime, and the development of judicial and penal policy.
Local History: Search a large number of sources for British local history from the 16th to the 19th century. While a particular strength is the History of London, there are significant records for other towns and cities and for the suburban and rural history of the English regions.
Parliamentary History: Connected Histories contains a number of key sources for parliamentary history from 1500 to the nineteenth century.
Religious History: Connected Histories provides access to materials reflecting the organisation and practice of religion on both a national and a local level.
Searching for Images: Connected Histories gives you direct access to two major collections of images, and includes the British Museum Image Collection, representing 96,566 images relating to British subjects 1500-1900; and The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera from the Bodleian Library.
If you’d like to learn more about Connected Histories:
“Connected Histories was created by a partnership between the University of Hertfordshire, the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and theUniversity of Sheffield. Natural language processing, indexing and the development of the search engine were carried out by the Humanities Research Institute(University of Sheffield). The website front end was implemented by the Institute of Historical Research, using designs provided by Mickey and Mallory. Evaluation was carried out by the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College London.”