One of the reasons I use 19th century compiled histories is because the sources referred to are often ones that aren’t particularly well known. Finding the original material that is cited can be difficult in some cases. Sometimes the source is not clearly spelled out, or is referred to by a name or initials that would have been common knowledge at the time of publication. In one case a record group that was intact at the time one of the county histories was produced had later been split up, with some of the material being donated to a library which itself had later merged with a larger repository. Other portions had been put up for public auctions. Using newspaper accounts and other sources I was able to track down where most of the original collection had ended up. Some of the work I do involves exactly that, creating up to date assessments of whether material cited in these publications is still accessible or not. Publications like the County series are good resources, but if any information they contain is to be used to ‘prove’ anything than they need to be taken as just a guide to sources.
Using compiled histories like the Victoria County History series
April 21st, 2011 · No Comments
Tags: Using published material