Trial until 15 February: Early Modern England Society, Culture & Everyday Life, 1500-1700

Oxford researchers are warmly invited to trial Early Modern England: Society, Culture & Everyday Life, 1500-1700 [access via SOLO.]

This resource offers access to rare and invaluable sources for examining the lived experience of people in England between 1500 and 1700. From ‘ordinary’ people through to more prominent individuals and families, these documents show how everyday working, family, religious and administrative life was experienced across England.

Rather than dealing specifically with the great political and religious upheavals of these years, the project aims to look at the everyday happenings of people in different parts of England.

What topics can you research?

The sources are useful for the study of many aspects of life in early modern England. They include:

  • Agriculture
  • Arts, literature and culture
  • Births, marriages and deaths
  • Family life and relationships
  • Finance
  • Foreign affairs
  • Health and medicine
  • Land and property
  • Law and order
  • Monarchy
  • Politics and government
  • Possessions
  • Poverty
  • Religion
  • Scholarship: science and humanities
  • Trade and economics
  • Travel
  • War
  • Women’s history
  • Work and employment

What type of documents are included?

These experiences are revealed through a wide range of materials including legal records, family correspondence, tax records, administrative records, wills, inventories, petitions, military papers and commonplace books and more.

There is a strong material culture element to this project with the inclusion of images of everyday objects used in early modern households. Many can be viewed in 360-degree rotation.3 early modern objects: cream coloured cap, a chamberpot, a fire bellowsWhich regions are covered?

The different collections of documents enable a regional comparison, for example with court records from the South East, London, the West Midlands and the North West.A guide to the different collections incl. Commonplace books, local legal documents, quarter sessions, archives, etc.Searching

You can browse or search in many different ways. Useful are, for instance, indices for names, themes, regions and places.

The resource also offers searching of manuscripts using Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology. This is still a developing area and results may not always be perfect.

Tell us what you think

The trial ends on 15 February. While there currently is no funding for this resource, your feedback is still helpful to gauge interest amongst the scholarly community. Please email to comment on the usefulness of the content, who would benefit from it and whether the searching functionality is adequate.

New: e-access to South Eastern Gazette 1852-1912

Thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding, Oxford users now have online access to the archive of an important regional English newspaper, The South Eastern Gazette 1852-1912 (UKPress Online). It is listed in OxLIP+ and will soon appear in SOLO.

South Eastern Gazette title 1862

Formerly The Maidstone Gazette, the South Eastern Gazette was a major regional title for the south-east of England.

Kent / by Herman Moll (1732?)

Circulating in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, it published reports of local occurrences, the state of all the hop districts, and the London and country markets and promoted educational advancement. It also featured some reports from abroad.

For more about the newspaper, check out the entry in the Waterloo Directory of English Periodicals and Newspapers, 1800-1900 (also accessible to Oxford users).

Cross searching with The Daily Mirror

You can search The Daily Mirror and The South Eastern Gazette together or separately. Simply untick the box at the bottom of the Advance search screen.

Related links

See also our blog post on historical newspapers for details of other historical newspapers online.

New: Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO)

Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO) provides a large and growing resource of essential medieval and early modern sources online. It is an excellent way to access a large library of books essential to the study of medieval and early modern England, Scotland and Ireland. It includes selections of annals and chronicles, calendars and registers, saints’ lives, Rolls’ Series and HMC reports and Statutes of the Realm.

MEMSO is now available from OxLIP+ to Oxford users.