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record Sources

Current Affairs


online documents

British Archaeology Magazine online
"The voice of archaeology in Britain and beyond"!

ArchLib is a service provided by the Council for British Archaeology in collaboration with the Society of Antiquaries of London, and offers access to a wide range of archaeological journals and books online.

In the Footsteps of King Harold (Channel 4 TV)
This is really a brief overview of Waltham Abbey.

A Vision of Britain
Historical travel-writing, and a website devoted to comparative statistical analysis at local community level, over the last two centuries.

Foxe's Book of Martyrs
A complete online copy of the second edition, plus additional material. John Foxe was resident at Waltham Abbey (in a house that once stood at Foxes Parade) whilst writing this work.

The Bayeux Tapestry
This link will take you to images of the full Bayeux Tapestry in 35 sections. A full Latin - English translation is included.

The Anglo-Saxon Charters

The ORB is dedicated to medieval studies, written and maintained by academic scholars. All articles have been judged by at least two peer reviewers. Authors are held to high standards of accuracy, currency, and relevance to the field of medieval studies. It includes a comprehensive medieval encyclopaedia (e.g. its entry on The Augustinian Order), an online library of medieval texts (such as An anthology of Chancery English), a selection of teaching resources, and other useful support material.
An example of its usefulness might be its transcription of the
Accounts of the churchwardens of St. Mary at Hill, where we find that in the late 1470's its churchwardens paid an annual quitrent of 38 shillings to the Abbot of Waltham Abbey.

Viking Navy Museum
An online museum with considerable detail and lots of images of various types of Viking longboat.

Old Maps
The first and later editions of the Ordnance Survey online, providing a valuable resource for 19th century research.

Boyd's Marriage Index
This work consists of 533 typewritten volumes, listing about 7 million marriage entries from 4,200 parishes in 16 counties, for the period 1538 to 1837.

The Peerage of Essex
      Listed in order of placename
      Listed in order of surname

The Times Newspaper, digital archive (use your Essex Library Ticket Number to log in)

Dictionary of National Biography (use your Essex Library Ticket Number to log in)

Other Essex Libraries Resources
The range of other classic reference works available online to anyone with an Essex Library (ELAN) ticket is extensive. As they put it, "Use the Reference Library without setting foot outside your front door! You could buy your own subscriptions to these services - but being part of Essex Libraries means they are all free!"
It would be nicer if some of these titles were still on the shelves in the actual libraries, but online is better than offline!

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London, 1674 to 1834
A fully searchable online edition of over 100,000 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court, with information on their historical and legal background, links to descriptions of published and manuscript materials relating to the trials, and contemporary maps and images.

Local Government and Society in Early Modern Hertfordshire and Essex, c.1590 - 1630
"Although disorder could erupt on occasion, changes initiated by the central government caused the most tension in the shires. By the late-1620’s, the lords lieutenant, their deputies, and the justices of the peace were stretched to the breaking point by the open-ended threat of economic, political, religious, and social innovations imposed from above."
A PhD dissertation studying "the careers, social relationships, and personal tribulations of justices of the peace and other county officials" which is so thorough that it's 250 pages long! Note: the link leads to a 1.5Mb PDF file.

The Victoria County History of Essex!
Homepage for the Essex volumes of this monumental work; eight volumes are now online.

VCH Essex
This site lists the contents of all the VCH Essex volumes, including parish coverage.

Building History
A fascinating website bursting with information, links, and advice on researching the history of a wide range of buildings in the British Isles (UK & Eire).
The home page predictably begins with "Would you like to find out more about the history of your house?" but the range of buildings on which research advice is given within a couple of clicks is surprisingly exhaustive: Banks, Bishops' homes, Bridges, Cafes, Castles, Cathedrals, Chapels, Charities, Churches, Church houses, Country houses, Dovecotes... and the list goes on!
Comprehensive sections provide background and source material on themes such as the major architectural styles, ecclesiastical buildings, primary sources and books as sources, and extensive links to further online archives.

The Land Utilisation Survey of Great Britain
The uses made of farmland was surveyed in the 1930s and the information is available here in the form of a zoomable map. Select 'Land Utilisation' in the drop-down box in the bottom right corner of the page, click one of the radio buttons above this to determine your search parameter, then click anywhere on the map view.

Medieval Calendar Calculator
A Julian calendar machine, which can create Julian calendars of whole years or single months in the period 500 to 1582 AD. It can also list the dates of every Sunday in a given year. Feast days are colour-coded according to their liturgical rank. If you pass your mouse pointer over a coloured day, the name of the feast will appear on the status line at the foot of your screen.

WAHS Area Conversion Machine
When Is a Rod not a Pole, and can you get an Are into an Acre? With this little gadget, those antiquated map measurement headaches will become a thing of the past! Not very carbon-neutral in operation, as it runs on dung - but we hope to improve this by at least 2% at some time in the future.


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record Sources

Epping Forest District Museum

Essex Record Office online catalogue (SEAX)

Essex Libraries online catalogue (ELAN)

Saffron Walden Victorian Studies Centre

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Hertfordshire Libraries online catalogue

London Metropolitan Archives

The National Archives

British Library Integrated Catalogue

Archon (Archives Online)
A directory of contact details for record offices, libraries and other record-collecting institutions worldwide.

A2A (Access to Archives)
A collaboration between the British Library and the National Archives, A2A allows you to search detailed catalogues from around 400 repositories across England and Wales.

Pastscape (National Monuments Record - English Heritage)
An online database. "The information within PastScape is taken directly from the NMR's national historic environment database containing nearly 400,000 records on the archaeology and buildings of England and its territorial waters. These records contain descriptions of any interesting archaeological details, pictures (where available), and links to maps and aerial photographs on other websites."

The Internet Archive
‘The Internet Archive is a free online library, offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.’
There are a number of works of Waltham Abbey interest on this library's shelves, including full downloadable copies of local historical works by William Winters, John Maynard, William Stubbs, and Walter de Gray Birch, as well as works of local interest such as biographies of some members of the Buxton family, and Fuller's
The files are available in either PDF or DJVU format (broadband advisable), or in plain text for modest internet connections. (TIP: if you have downloaded a text version, rename its extension from 'txt' to 'htm' for best presentation.)
See under the various links categories for direct links to individual works.

Modern photos of the district, arranged by grid co-ordinates.

National Trust Names
National distribution maps for every surname, even yours and mine, from two moments in time: a century ago and effectively now. Each search result also returns interesting facts and figures - for instance, this editor found that 95% of the British population have "a more high-status name" than his - charming!

National Monuments Record
The NMR contains over 10 million historic photographs, aerial photographs, architectural and archaeological reports, plans and other items related to the historic environment of England.
It is maintained by English Heritage, and this website also houses "national historic environment databases of buildings and sites in England and its territorial waters, together known as the 'Heritage Data Sets'."

National Monuments Record (a Wikipedia article)

Family Genealogy and History Internet Education Directory
Many family historians will be familiar with the International Genealogical Index and other genealogical work done by the Mormon church, not least in making thousands of parish registers available on microfilm in record offices around the world. This site seems to be a new venture by the same organisation, though they don't make this immediately apparent until you click on the link leading to "Jesus Christ, The Son of God".
Perhaps they are trying to appeal to a new demographic group, one that might be wary of anything religious but which has an appetite for more scholarly material than is the norm in popular genealogy.
This website is, in fact, wholly devoted to geographically arranged hyperlinks to external websites, articles and resources (such as Wikipedia) that contain genealogically useful material. Or, as the blurb says, it is a "Professional worldwide humanities and social sciences mega portal, connected directly to numerously related sub-sets, with billions of primary or secondary database family history and genealogy records. The most comprehensive Genealogy and Family History online Handbook, How-To-Guide and Manual." Oooh!


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Current Affairs

BALH - British Association for Local History
BALH is a national charity which promotes local history, publishes The Local Historian and Local History News, holds regular conferences and a prestigious annual lecture.

Council for British Archaeology

Struggling amateurs in need of support
The future is bleak for amateur archaeology, says Peter Huggins.

Who Will Do Research Archaeology?

GLIAS - Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society
GLIAS was founded in 1968 to record London's industrial history and to deposit these records with national and local archive offices. It also advises local authorities and others on the restoration and preservation of historic industrial buildings and machinery.

MAGIC - current environmental mapping (the Govt.)
“MAGIC is the first web-based interactive map to bring together information on key environmental schemes and designations in one place.” It was created as a “partnership project” between Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), English Heritage, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission, and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Phew!

National Monuments Record Thesauri
A thesaurus resource on the theme of English heritage and related subjects, including Monument Types, Archaeological Objects, Building Materials, Components (of a monument), Evidence (existing physical remains, or means of identification where no physical remains exist), Archaeological Sciences (techniques, recovery methods, etc.), Defence of Britain (20th century), Historic Aircraft, and various maritime subjects.
It has been developed to help researchers keep their reporting terminology consistent. Click on the Frequent User button to get a list of the different thesauri.

Local Planning Application search

Waltham Abbey Town Council

Epping Forest District Council
In case the people above can't help.

Essex County Council
What was that poem about bigger fleas and little fleas to bite 'em?

Conservation Area FAQs
A page of useful information for anyone interested in the legal status of Conservation Areas.

Guidance Notes on the preservation and repair of historic buildings
This section of East Herts District Council's website contains much useful information on subjects such as historic brickwork and flint walling, landscaping, grants, guidance on listed building status, principles of conservation, timber-framed buildings and shopfronts.
The series as a whole builds into a very interesting read for anyone concerned with our rapidly changing local rural heritage, and has just as much bearing on West Essex as it does on East Herts. Below are two example documents from the list.

Conservation Areas
This essay is written for anyone who lives in a Conservation Area, and it covers just about any question that could be asked, including "Are there things I can do without consent?", "How are Conservation Areas Chosen?", and "What is the point of designating them?" Written in a clear and succinct style, it could open the eyes of anyone who reads it, residents, developers and planning officers alike.

Historic Barns and barn conversions
This review of the surviving historic barns and other farm buildings of East Hertfordshire (about 500 of which have been listed), incudes notes on their features and dating, underlining the necessity "that their special character is conserved, both as structures of interest, and as landscape features in the countryside".
East Herts District Council's planning officers are faced with "a substantial increase" in planning applications for the conversion of listed barns, and this document written to support them is fascinating!

List of Buildings of Local Architectural or Historic Interest:

Waltham Abbey



These PDF files are "Local Lists" of all the properties in each area that are considered to be worth keeping an eye on, "but do not quite meet the national criteria for inclusion on the statutory list." Unfortunately, information on those buildings of our district which have been awarded listed status, is notably not available online.

Epping Forest District Council: Local List
This page on the Council's website provides an overview and has links to the full set of 'local lists'.

Family History Quests
"Family History Quests is the UK's first online history superstore. We carry a full range of materials and resources for family and local historians."


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Copyright Waltham Abbey Historical Society, 2007.