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Reconstructing Historical Communities

ALAN MACFARLANE in collaboration with Sarah Harrison & Charles Jardine

CONTENTS

List of figures

Acknowledgements

1 GENERAL APPROACHES TO THE ANALYSIS OF COMMUNITIES

2 THE NATURE OF THE DATA

3 MANUAL ANALYSIS OF THE DATA

4 THE QUALITY OF THE DATA

5 SOME USES FOR THE DATA

6 VIRTUES AND DEFECTS OF THE RECORDS AND THE METHOD

Bibliography

 

FIGURES

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Social Science Research Council have provided two project grants to support the research partly described in this book. A Research Fellowship and a grant towards computing assistance through the Research Centre were both provided by King's College, Cambridge. I am most grateful to the Research Council and the Provost and Fellows of King's College for their indispensable support. Sarah Harrison undertook most of the very time-consuming research which lies behind the tables and the discussions in the book. She also contributed very substantially to the methodology described here. Charles Jardine's experience in information processing and retrieval with computers also played a major part in the developments described below and he was largely responsible for the final production of the book in a form which it is estimated will halve its price to readers. More recently Tim King and Jessica Styles have made a significant contribution and we have long been fortunate to have the advice and encouragement of Ken Moody. Cherry Bryant and Iris Macfarlane have also shared in what is above all a co-operative enterprise. The Computing Service in Cambridge and the S.S.R.C. Cambridge Group for the Study of Population and Social Structure have provided a great deal of support and expertise. It will be clear that much of the work was inspired by that of Peter Laslett, Roger Schofield and Tony Wrigley. My anthropological debts have been listed elsewhere, but I would like to thank my colleagues at the Department of Social Anthropology and particularly Jack Goody for their tolerance of a marginal academic. Many other thanks must go unrecorded, though Dennis Cowan who drew many of the diagrams, and Patricia Williams and Jack Bowles of the Cambridge University Press who helped with the production cannot be overlooked.

My introduction to local records was through the teaching of Hilda Grieve at the Essex Record Office and under the supervision of Keith Thomas. Since then I have incurred a very great debt to the archivists of various record offices, particularly those at Chelmsford, Kendal, Carlisle, Preston and the Public Record Office, London. More specifically, I am grateful to the following archivists for permission to reproduce the plates in the text: Essex (figures 2:3, 2:4, 2:5, 2:6, 2:7, 2:8, 2:9, 2:11, 2:12 and the cover); Lancashire (figure 2:13); Cumbria (figure 2:14). Figure 2:10 is reproduced by permission of the Public Record Office; Crown copyright material is reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Alan Macfarlane.

Department of Social Anthropology,

Downing Street, Cambridge (1977)