Archive documents are dirty. They are especially so around the edges. Historians love the phrase “patina of history” and it is this you can see in the years of dust, dirt from fingers, smoke (fire places, tobacco) and from just being in a room where they were stored. Archive documents are also imperfect. There are […]

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Shakespeare in London

Shakespeare’s life in London has always intrigued me. It’s 400 years since he died this weekend. I know something about the man, less about his work, although I enjoy regular visits to the Globe. Where was he, where did he live, eat, drink? The Tudor city is gone, but you can draw together many glimpses […]

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This Tudor Man

It is dangerous to get interested in history, so hard core archivists claim. “Don’t get carried away by what’s in the archive, don’t become interested. You won’t get any work done.”  As I stare at the paper, I feel dangerously interested.  Luckily, I am not an archivist, although I work in libraries and archives. My […]

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What is an Historier’s Miscellany?

The Historier dates back at least to the mid-1400s. Around 1449, he is mentioned as “Sithen historiers dwelling in thilk same cuntre..kouthen knowe better the treuthe of the deede than othere men.” In 1490, Caxton in his Boke yf Eneydos wrote “Wrytynges and dyctes of olde and auncyente cronycles or historyers.” In the next century, […]

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