New State Papers Online experience – preview from 1 Aug

Called all early modernists: a new improved version of State Papers Online can be previewed from 1 August via the SPO webpage. The provider, Cengage Gale, is keen to get your feedback. Given the complexity of the material, I strongly encourage researchers to take a look and send in suggestions and comments. The plan is to retire the current version in December 2022.

What is State Papers Online I-IV 1509-1714?State Papers Online contains the Tudor and Stuart governments “domestic” and “foreign” papers – the equivalent of today’s documents from the Home and Foreign Offices and the Royal Archives. These everyday working papers of the British royal government reveal Tudor and Stuart society and government, religion and politics in all its drama allowing scholars to trace the remarkable – and frequently violent – transformations of the 16th & 17th centuries.

This major resource re-unites the Domestic, Foreign, Borders, Scotland, and Ireland State Papers of Britain with the Registers of the Privy Council and other State Papers now housed in the Cotton, Harley and Lansdowne collections in the British Library.

The papers are digitised images and are accompanied by the Calendars. The Calendars State Papers are fully searchable, and each Calendar entry has been linked directly to its related State Paper. Among the Calendars included are the HMC Calendars and the Haynes/Murdin transcriptions of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House.

What is changing?

You can expect many improvements such as side-by-side viewing of the manuscript and calendar versions and more. See Gale’s blog post New State Papers Online Experience Available to Preview (5 July 2022) for more details.

Screenshot from the new State Papers Online interface showing a calendar entry of SP12 139.

Image from Gale’s bog post ‘New State Papers Online Experience Available to Preview’

2 thoughts on “New State Papers Online experience – preview from 1 Aug

  1. The system is not good at picking up alternative spellings of personal names, leaving the user to guess at all possible versions and search for them individually. Examples are Audlet and Wellsborn, both of which appear in the records in many different guises. These are relatively easily found in a print index but would be missed on this system.

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