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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languishes unpublished.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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