Review: Burning the Books

Cover design for Burning the Books by Richard Ovenden, "A History of Knowledge Under Attack."

We now find ourselves well into autumn here in the UK; the weather is starting to turn and colder, darker nights beckon – the perfect time to be curled up in front of the fire, reading a good book. With this in mind, today’s post makes a slight departure from my usual “research methods” postings, but is highly relevant to the worlds of genealogy and history.… Read the rest

Palaeography: A Digital Toolkit

For the past few months, the UK National Archives (TNA) has made its digital downloads free of charge until more normal operation resumes. Perhaps inevitably, the keen response in genealogical circles (including in popular magazines such as Who Do You Think You Are?) has focused on some of the main sources used in genealogy research – whether that’s military records, wills and probate documents, or poor law records.… Read the rest

Welcome to The Parchment Rustler

Seven years old: I’m clutching a pen and my brother and I are asking questions, lots and lots of questions. The sheet of paper in front of us gradually fills with names – some we know, others we don’t. Bold lines crisscross the page, drafted out by my mother, ascending from the familiar names at the bottom to the strangers that lurk, barely discovered, near the top.Read the rest