Navigation: Home > About this site
The University of Hull State Papers Project
New Readers Start Here
This web site started as a private initiative for sharing transcriptions of documents calendared as State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth, and held in The National Archives (PRO) as SP12. Since then TNA has allowed the use of digital cameras and granted me a non-commercial licence to publish images of the SP12 documents themselves on the site, and the University of Hull has given them a very large web server.
The resulting images were inspected by AHDS (Arts and Humanities Data Services) who condemned them as hopelessly amateur (which they are) and unworthy of storage by them. This was the first time I had heard readable used as a term of abuse, but it is true that they are not nearly as good as a professional scan would be, and the images of the earlier volumes (before I read the camera manual) are poor. Recently some of them have loaded onto the site upside down or sideways (when I find out what is causing this, I will fix it). This web site is a working prototype; a test bed for something better.
The University of Hull History Department decided to put together a project for the creation of professional scanned images of SP12 volumes 1-146 (those covered by the bad Lemon calendar) which would then be made freely available on the Hull University web site. It was estimated that it would take about twelve months to scan and another six to complete the linking and loading to the web site. This could then lead on to the digitisation of other state papers. TNA/PRO approved of the project and we were set to go. Unfortunately the only really appropriate grant, the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Resource Enhancement grant, was suspended before we could make an application, and shows no sign of reappearance. Since then TNA/PRO has withdrawn its approval of our project as it intends instead to support the creation of a new calendar. I have therefore picked up my camera again, and it is actually possible that I may finish the 146 volumes to 1580 before the new calendar is begun. The IHR (Institute of Historical Research) has received a very large grant to put the 19th Century State Paper Calendars on line. You wait 150 years, and then three projects come along at once.
I hope that you find this site useful. If you do, please contribute what you can to it. Link to How to Contribute Anything at all that improves on the calendar will be welcome, partial or complete, in modern or original spelling. I can also use any images (however fuzzy) that you may have taken of documents in SP12. I am also collecting corrections to the existing calendar. Link to Calendar Corrections
I have included transcriptions from the British Library Lansdowne Mss and from the Cecil Papers at Hatfield House (they are after all the same collection, just in different archives). The transcriptions from the Hull records are there because I have them. I could continue and enlarge the scope of the site to include practically any otherwise unpublished Elizabethan manuscripts, but I feel that SP12 1558-1580 needs most attention.
If you use any of the transcriptions, you should of course credit the transcriber.
I have in mind for the future the creation of a word-search program for the transcriptions which could cope with early-modern spelling.
October 1st, 2006