Domesday online

BBC News: Internet upgrade for Domesday Book.

The Domesday Book has embarked on many varied journeys in its 920-year lifetime. Its latest stop is now the web. The iconic 11th Century document, which has been rebound, copied, facsimiled and even hidden in prisons, has been made available online. This latest chapter in the history of the survey of England, carried out for William the Conqueror, has been organised by the National Archives in Kew, west London, where the book has its home. It is the oldest public record at the archives and was voted the nation’s finest treasure in 2005. All of its pages are now available to be viewed, along with a translation from the original Latin, to anyone with an internet connection.

The original book was written by one unknown scribe in about a year, and it can still be used in court for property disputes. The whole of Britain was valued at £78,000 in 1087AD. Entries for Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex are in the Little Domesday book (which is bigger and more detailed), the rest of the country is in the Great Domesday book. You have to buy the images to download, but they come with an English translation of the heavily-abbreviated Latin. Searches are interesting, they have mapped the modern town names to the names used in the book (Ipswich was recorded as Gipewiz, Gereswiz, Gepeswiz, and Gipeuuid).

One thought on “Domesday online”

  1. When I was in middle school, in the early 80s, there was a “domesday project”, where we were gathering data as a school to go into some digital archive. I wonder what happened to that.

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