Chairman: B. H. Baumfield Director: F. J. G. Robinson Finance Director: P. J. Miller Eighteenth Century British Biography Park House, Ashow Nr. Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2LE, Telephone (0926) 58813. THE REST OF THE ICEBERG The Eighteenth Century British Biography project (EBB) initiated at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in February 1990, aims to bring together the personal records of the English speaking people of that period. It will include individuals who lived in areas that were then colonies as well as the United Kingdom. It is intended that the ultimate compilation will offer far and away the most complete and authoritive listing of the British people of the eighteenth century. Such diverse and prolific sources as directories, society lists, book subscription lists, wills, parish registers, charity subscriptions, obituaries from journals and newspapers, poll books, apprentice returns, etc. will be included. Through using such sources the project will make accessible large amounts of data about the common man as well as the elite of the world. The project will begin by creating a file of all local and national directories, and all book subscription lists of the period; these sources alone will produce a database of 11 million records. At the same time some selected data from many other sources will be interfiled, so as to work out the mechanisms of entry and retrieval; it may be that the project will result in a standardised format for biographical data, such as has been achieved in bibliography with MARC. The first version of Machine Readable Biography (MARB) will be published in the summer of 1990. The project invites contributions of biographical records. Much research, especially for theses, involves considerable accumulation of data which fails to see the light of day except in summary form or languishes unpublished. The project will interfile all such sources in the database with full reference to the provenance of the materials. Interested scholars should contact the Project office. It is expected that EBB will be published in segments, beginning in approximately two years. Publication will be on CD-ROM or whatever medium then best fosters widespread accessibility, down-loading and manipulation. A Newsletter will be issued gratis annually, beginning in October 1990; inquiries or requests to be placed on the mailing list are welcome. A more detailed description of the project is available now from the Project office.
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