Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Project: William Brown's Account Book

The first of my priority projects to get underway (see Future of this Site - Thinking Ahead 2013-2018) concerns an old account book that had belonged to William Brown, estate agent, of Tring during the 1850s. I had purchased it on ebay with a view to passing it to the Tring Local History Society after I had properly indexed it, etc. About 4 years ago I had put some extracts from the book on this web site with a view to doing more - and the project stalled.

The book provides a unique record of property related activities in and around Tring (in Buckinghamshire as well as Hertfordshire) especially as William Brown acted as land agent for the Rev. James Williams, who occupied Tring Park during the period covered by the book. It contains much of interest to local and family historians and needs to be readily accessible. The project involves making it generally accessible, and the following stages are planned.
Brown's Account Book
  1. To get all 283 folios and the original manuscript index online  and accessible. This stage has now been completed, and may be accessed at 
  2. Draw up a calendar of the folios which records the subject of each folio, including key place and personal manes. A draft listing identifying each folio with the folio title has been completed - but the additional text has only been done for the first 20 folios. The aim is to do a bit each week and complete by the end of the year.
  3. Complete a page contains a biography of William Brown. 
  4. Produce about 25 detailed reports relating to the information contained - to act as a demonstration of the kinds of information in the document and how it can be used. Three are currently in draft stage and will be announced over the next two or three weeks. The aim is to produce one or two such reports a month. In addition I hope to encourage others to "adopt" a folio and produce further reports.
  5. Produce a talk on the document - and probably two or three articles.
  6. Find a home for the original document. As it has been digitised I no longer need the original to complete the project.
A progress report will be included in each month-end report.
You are invited to explore the page of the account book and let me have your comments.
A List of Later Project Reports

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