RECORD (Lat. recordari, to recall to mind, from cor, heart or mind), a verb or noun used in various senses, all derived from the original one of preserving something permanently in memory. In this article, however, we are only concerned with documentary records, or archives. In its accurate sense a record is a document regularly drawn up for a legal or administrative purpose and preserved in proper custody to perpetuate the memory of the transaction described in it; for the most part it forms a link in a complicated process, and unless the connexion between it and the other documents making up the process has been preserved, a portion of its meaning will have perished. The first care, therefore, of the custodian of records should be to preserve this connexion, where it exists. In the majority of countries a previous task awaits him; it has been his duty to collect and arrange his documents. There are few countries in which records have not passed through a period of neglect; each office of state has kept or rather neglected its own papers; each court of justice has been the keeper of its own records; the student has been paralysed by a multitude of repositories among which he vainly sought the documents he required. To this stage two systems have succeeded; the system of centralization both of records and of staff; and the system under which the records are left in local repositories and the staff is centralized. There are of course countries which cannot be brought under either of these formulae. But for the most part it will be found that the second system has prevailed; there are a central office for records of state, provincial offices for legal records and those of local administration, town offices for municipal records, and a staff of archivists depending more or less strictly upon the central office. In England the first system has been preferred; almost all the records that can be collected have been gathered into the central office. In the future, indeed, it is inevitable that collections of administrative records should grow up for each county; but there is at present no means of ensuring their arrangement and preservation. Many towns possess old and valuable collections of municipal archives, and over these also the central office has no control. It would be absurd to affirm that such control is needed for the preservation of the documents; but it is a curious fact that the English government, which has centralized records more freely than any other, should have refrained from establishing any system of administration for records in general. The following article is intended to give a full account of the administration and nature of the records of Great Britain, and brief notices of those of other countries concerning which information is obtainable. It may be noticed that the directory of the learned world published by Trübner at Strassburg under the title Minerva will be found a useful guide to the situation and staff of repositories of records.
The most important repository of English records is the Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, London, established under the Act 1 & 2 Vict., c. 94. The head of the office is the Master of the Rolls for the time being; and the staff consists of the deputy-keeper, secretary, assistant-keepers and clerks, with a subordinate staff.
Until the establishment of this office, the records of the various courts of law and government offices were stored in separate places, mostly of an unsuitable nature, whose contents were inaccessible and unknown. The Tower of London contained the records of the Chancery, which were kept in fair order; the records of the Exchequer were scattered in many places, chiefly unsuitable; and other collections were almost as unfortunately bestowed: the only attempt to provide a special place of custody was made in the 17th century, when the State Paper Office was set up as a place of deposit for the papers of the secretaries of state. From time to time efforts were made, chiefly by means of committees of the House of Lords, to procure reforms in the custody of documents whose value was well understood. In the reign of Queen Anne, an attempt was made by Thomas Rymer to publish in the Foedera such documents as could be found bearing upon foreign politics; and this drew fresh attention to the question of custody. In 1731 the disastrous fire in the Cottonian Library produced a committee of the House of Commons and another report. But it was not until 1800 that any serious steps were taken. In that year a committee of the House of Commons presented a valuable report dealing with all the public records in repositories in England and Scotland. The result of this committee was the appointing of a royal commission charged with the arrangement and publication of the public records and the control of all public repositories. This commission was renewed from year to year and did not expire until 1837. It fell partly because of internal dissensions, but principally owing to gross extravagance and almost complete neglect of its duty, so far as the arrangement and custody of the records was concerned. The publications sanctioned by it are often badly designed and badly executed; but their most prominent characteristic was their expense. To this commission succeeded the Public Record Office, whose constitution has already been described. The first duty of the new office was the establishment of a central repository into which the scattered collections of records could be gathered; and the preparation of manuscript inventories of the documents so obtained. In 1851 the construction of the central repository was begun; and with the completion of each portion of it further groups of records were brought in. At first only those collections specified in the act of parliament were dealt with; but in 1852 the State Paper Office was placed under the control of the Master of the Rolls, and its contents removed to the Public Record Office. Other government departments in turn transferred to the same keeping papers not in current use; and at present the only important collections of papers not so treated are those of the India Office and the Privy Council Office, which are still kept apart.
The publications of the Record Office are of three kinds: reports, lists and indexes, and calendars. The reports are the annual reports of the Deputy Keeper, and now deal merely with the administrative work of the office; up to 1889 they also contained, in the form of appendices, inventories and detailed descriptions of various classes of records. In the present article these reports are referred to by number. The lists and indexes are either inventories of special classes with more or less detail, or indexes to the contents of certain documents grouped for that purpose; they are here cited by' their number. The calendars are volumes containing full abstracts intended to make the consultation of the original document unnecessary except for critical purposes; they are equipped with full indexes. The contents of the Record Office are classified for the most part under the collections in which they were found. For a general account of the whole, see S. R. Scargill-Bird’s Handbook to the Public Records (3rd ed. 1908). No student can afford to neglect C. Gross’s Sources and Literature of English History from the Earliest Times to about 1485, which contains much information as to books and articles based upon English records. We may now turn to the documents themselves, under the following heads:—
Exchequer Records.—The records of the administrative and judicial sides of the Exchequer (q.v.) are here described under its several divisions.
(1) Upper Exchequer, er Exchequer of Audit.—(a) Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer’s Office, or office of final audit. The result of the final audit is recorded in duplicate on the Pipe and Chancellor’s Rolls. These consist of a solitary (Pipe) roll for 31 Henry I., and a duplicate series extending from 2 Henry II. to 2 William IV. The Record Commission has printed the following rolls: Pipe Rolls, 31 Henry I., 2–4 Henry II., I Richard I.; Chancellor’s Rolls, 3 John. The Pipe Roll Society has printed the Pipe Rolls for 5–24 Henry II.
Foreign Rolls or Rolls of Accounts.—These contain the records of the preliminary audit of accounts other than county accounts of the Sheriffs; they run from 42 Edward III. to modern times: closely connected with them are the Enrolled Accounts, which deal with the more important accountants separately. It should be noted that the final audit is not recorded upon either Foreign Rolls or Enrolled Accounts, but must be sought on the Pipe Roll, unless the accountant is found to be quit or to have a balance due to him. The Record Office has published a classified list (No. Xl.) of the Foreign and Enrolled Accounts taken from all the foregoing rolls of audit, but omitting the accounts of Customs and Subsidies.
Declared Accounts.—A list (No. II.) of these records with an introduction has been published by the Record Office. The series begins in the 16th century, and from the 17th century is fairly complete.
Originalia Rolls (20 Henry III. to 1837), or extracts from the Chancery Rolls communicated to the Exchequer for its information and guidance. Latin abstracts of the rolls from Henry III. to Edward III. were printed by the Record Commission as Abbreviatio Rotulorum Originolium (2 vols. folio).
Lord Treasurer’s Remembrance’s Memoranda Rolls.—These contain the letters received and issued by the Exchequer and notes of the general business of the department. They run from I Henry III. to 1848. Edward Jones’s Index to the Records contains a few scattered references to them; and many extracts will be found in the notes to Thomas Madox’s History of the Exchequer.
Judicial.—The only judicial proceedings on the Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer’s side are in cases connected directly with the revenue. These are enrolled upon the Memoranda Rolls; and for the period 35 Charles II. to William IV. there are Order Books.
(b) Kings Remembrancer’s Office, or office of preliminary audit. The most important financial records of this branch of the Exchequer are the class known as “Exchequer K. R, accounts, &c.,” which comprise vouchers and audited accounts of expenditure. Of similar accounts relating to receipts, the Escheator’s accounts have been listed in the 10th Report; but the inquisitions there described as filed with the accounts as vouchers are now kept separately, and are described with the Chancery Inquisitions in the calendars. Accounts and vouchers relating to Subsidies and Customs are at present only described in manuscript (see below under Special Collections).
King’s Remembrancer’s Memoranda Rolls (1 Henry III. to 13 Victoria).—These run parallel with those of the Lord Treasurer and to a large extent contain the same matter. Adam Martin’s Index to Exchequer Records contains a certain number of references to them.
In the reign of Edward VI., returns were made into the Exchequer by commissioners appointed to take inventories of Church Goods. Volumes of these for several counties are being published by the Alcuin Club (see Mély et Bishop, Bibliographie générale des inventaires imprimés, vol. i. p. 245).
Judicial.—The court of Exchequer on the King’s Remembrancer’s side was a court of equity held before the lord treasurer, the chancellor of the exchequer and the barons. The usual records of a court of equity, Bills and Answers, Decrees and Orders, Affidavits and other subsidiary documents exist for it. Martin’s Index to Exchequer Records contains references to the Decrees and Orders. Of the proceedings under special commissions issuing from this court a descriptive catalogue (Elizabeth to Victoria) has been published in the 38th Report. Depositions taken by commission (Elizabeth to George III.) are catalogued in the Reports 38-42. A catalogue of the later depositions exists in manuscript.
(2) Lower Exchequer, or Exchequer of Receipt.—The principal financial records of this department are the Receipt and Issue Rolls showing the payments made to and by the Exchequer. The former consist of an exceptional roll for 14 John and a series from Henry III. to George III. The latter run from Henry III. to Edward IV. and from Elizabeth to George III. A translation of the issue rolls (2) for 44 Edward III. was published by F. Devon; who also published a volume of extracts from the issue rolls of the reign of James I., and another volume of extracts from the rolls for the period 41 Henry III. to 39 Henry VI. The other records of this department are very numerous.
(3) Exchequer of Pleas.—The barons of the Exchequer without the lord treasurer had a court of their own, where process took place by common law. A list of the Plea Rolls of this court (20 Henry III. to 1855) will be found at p. 64 of the Record Office List of Plea Rolls (No. IV.). A partial index to the tithe-suits on these rolls is contained in the 21I(l Report.
(4) Exchequer of the Jews.—Suits between Jews, or in which Jews were concerned, were tried before a special subordinate court. The Plea Rolls (3 Henry III. to 4 Edward I.) are listed in the Record Office List of Plea Rolls. For specimens see Select Pleas, Starrs and Records of the Jewish Exchequer, edited for the Selden Society and the Jewish Historical Society of England by J. M. Rigg.
(5) First Fruits and Tenths.—After the breach with Rome, the crown obtained a new source of revenue in the first fruits due to the pope from every holder of a benefice upon appointment, and from the tenths payable during his tenure of it. For a few years under Henry VIII. a special office administered this revenue. At the accession of Mary the business was transferred to a department of the Exchequer. The principal records are the following: Bishops Certificates of Institutions to Benefices; Composition books giving the names of incumbents and the sums paid by them in lieu of first fruits; and documents relating to the valuation of livings. The most important entries touching valuation were printed by John Ecton in the Liber Decimarum (I 71 I), which has passed through many editions under the titles of Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum and Liber Regis. The first fruits and tenths are now transferred to Queen Anne's Bounty, and are managed by that office.
(6) Valor Ecclesiasticus.—In 26 Henry VIII. a commission was issued for a valuation of all ecclesiastical property. The returns were made into the Exchequer and consist of eighteen volumes and three portfolios of rolls. Of these abstracts were made in three volumes known as Liber Valorum or King’s Books, and a portion was copied in two volumes known as Liber Regis. The original returns for the diocese of Ely, most of that of London and part of those of Salisbury, Lincoln, Durham and York are not now known to exist, and are very imperfectly represented by the abstracts and copies mentioned above. From these materials the Record Commission compiled six volumes folio known as the Valor Ecclesiasticus provided with maps and indexes. The introduction and general map were published 'later (1834) in a separate octavo volume; but some copies were struck off in folio and inserted into Vol. I., which was published in 1810.
(7) Court of Augmentations.-This office was instituted to administer the property of the suppressed monasteries and the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall. The records consist of the muniments of the suppressed houses taken over with them and of documents connected with their actual seizure and subsequent administration (for the former, see Special Collections below; the latter are in great part calendared in the Letters and Papers relating to the Reign of Henry VIII.).
There was also a judicial side of the office, in which the proceedings were by bill and answer. In 38 Henry VIII. this court absorbed an earlier one known as the Court of General Surveyors of the King’s Lands, which had been set up in 33 Henry VIII. A calendar of the decrees of the court will be found in the 30th Report. The court of augmentations was merged in the Exchequer in I Mary.
Chancery.—The records of the chancery are here treated in two divisions, administrative and judicial.
(1) Chancery Administrative.—These are either enrolments of letters issued under the great seal, documents forming part of the process of issuing such letters, or documents drawn up for the information of the chancery.
Enrolments.-The Charter Rolls (1 John to 8 Henry VIII.) contain the enrolments of the most formal letters. The Record Commission published one volume folio containing a transcript of the rolls for the reign of John; and a badly designed and executed calendar entitled Calendarium Rotulorum Chartarum. The Record Office has published three volumes of a complete calendar of the Charter Rolls from II Henry III. The Patent Rolls (3 John to the present day) contain enrolments of less formal letters addressed generally. The Record Commission published one volume folio containing a transcript of the rolls for the reign of John, with a valuable itinerary of that king. The Record Office has also printed in full the rolls for the period 1–16 Henry III. From this point over 30 volumes of a Calendar have been published, and the remaining gaps in the series are being closed. For these gaps the Record Commissions Calendarium Rotulorum Patentium is still useful, but only refers to a small proportion of the matter on the rolls. The rolls for the reign of Henry VIII. are calendared in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII. The Close Rolls (6 John to the present time) contain the enrolments of letters directed to specified persons and also enrolments of deeds made according to statute or for safe custody. The Record Commission published two volumes folio containing a transcript of the rolls for the period from 6 John to II Henry III. The Record Office has also published several volumes of rolls for the reign of Henry III. From the.reign of Edward I. eighteen volumes of a calendar have appeared. The Fine Rolls (1 John to 23 Charles I.) contain the record of judicial writs issued under the great seal with a note of the fine or fee paid; also of letters of appointment to offices and letters relating to the administration of the feudal incidents of tenure. The Record Commission published a transcript of the rolls for the reign of John under the title Rotuli de Oblatis et Finibus; for the reign of Henry III. they also published two volumes of Excerpta e Rotulis Finium consisting of the entries relating to the feudal incidents. There were also other rolls containing letters issued under the great seal relating to special countries and subjects. The most important of these are here mentioned. French Rolls, Gascon Rolls, and Norman Rolls deal with the affairs of the English dominions in France and with relations with that country. A catalogue of many of the entries on these rolls down to the reign of Edward IV. was published by Thomas Carte in two volumes folio. Of the French Rolls (16 Edw. III. to 26 Charles II.) those for the reign of Henry V. are briefly calendared in the 44th Report; and those for the reign of Henry VI. in the 48th Report. Of the Gascon Rolls (38 Henry III. to 7 Edw. IV.) the earlier rolls have been printed in full in the Documents inédits published by the French government under the care of MM. Francisque-Michel and Bémont. Of the broken series of Norman Rolls (1 John to 10 Henry V.) those for the reign of John and that for 5 Henry V. have been printed in full in one volume by the Record Commission; to the remainder a calendar will be found in the 41st Report. The books here mentioned deal with some rolls now placed in other classes.
Other rolls contain letters under the great seal relating to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Of these the Record Commission printed the Scottish Rolls (19 Edward I. to 8 Henry VIII.) in full, omitting the numerous letters of protection contained in them. For the Welsh and Irish Rolls there is only a very partial calendar in Ayloffe’s Calendar of Ancient Charters. The Roman and Almain Rolls have been used in Foedera, and many entries from the other chancery rolls will be found there. The Liberate Rolls (2 John to 14 Henry VI.) contain the enrolments of writs for the issue of money out of the Exchequer. The rolls for 2-4 John have been printed in full by the Record Commission.
Documents forming Part of the Process of issuing Letters under the Great Seal.—These are known as Chancery warrants, and consist of Privy Seals, Signed bills and other documents forming steps in the process. Series I. of these documents extends to the end of the reign of Richard III., and Series II. to the end of the reign of Henry VIII.; Series III. ends with the reign of Anne, and Series IV. with that of William IV., while Series V. is still in progress. Series I. and II. are arranged in chronological order (Series I. being also classified); the remainder are in monthly bundles. The warrants for the reign of Henry VIII. are calendared in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII.; those for the first seven years of Charles I. are calendared in the 43rd Report. With these may be placed the Inquisitions ad quad damnum. Of these the Record Office has published a descriptive list (Nos. XVII. and XXII.) for the period 28 Henry III. to 2 Richard III.
Documents drawn up for the Information of the Chancery.—The most important of these are the inquiries held under writs issued from the chancery. The first series of these (Henry III. to Richard III.) is now arranged in three classes, Inquisitions Post Mortem including analogous documents relating to the feudal tenure of land, Criminal Inquisitions and Miscellaneous Inquisitions. The Record Office has published three volumes of a calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem. The Record Commission calendars refer to the old arrangements of these inquiries into two series, known as Inquisitions Post Mortem &c. and Inquisitions ad quad damnum &c., a distinction of title which concealed the identity of the documents described. Both calendars contain many inaccuracies and omit much useful information. To supply some of these defects for the period Henry III. to Edward I. the Record Office published the Calendarium Genealogicum, but this work does not attempt to deal with the lands mentioned in the inquiries. In the second series of these inquiries the three classes of inquisitions are all placed together. One volume of a calendar to the Inquisitions Post Mortem for the reign of Henry VII. has appeared. Certificates of Gilds are returns made under the statute of 12 Richard II. Those in English have been printed by j. and L. Toulmin Smith for the Early English Text Society. Charitable Uses: a list (No. X.) of all inquisitions and decrees of commissioners appointed under two statutes of Elizabeth to examine and rectify abuses of charitable bequests has been published by the Record Office. Forests (Chancery) contain perambulations and proceedings before the justices in eyre of the forest. The perambulations for certain counties have been printed by G. J. Turner in Select Pleas of the Forest (Selden Society).
Scottish Documents.—Five rolls relating to the policy of Edward I. towards Scotland. The first two contain the proceedings touching the claims to the crown of Scotland and are printed in Foedera, vol. ii. p. 762 (Record edition); the remaining three, known as Ragman Rolls, contain in triplicate the submissions of the Scottish nobility to Edward I., and were printed by the Bannatyne Club in 1834. Other chancery documents relating to Scotland are described in J. Bain’s Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland. Most of these together with the earlier Forest proceedings are included in the Miscellanea of the Chancery, which contains numerous other detached documents and rolls. Many of those relating to foreign aliairs are printed in the Foedera.
(2) Chancery Judicial.—These may be divided into Proceedings, or Bills and Answers, &c., filed by the parties; Decrees and Orders of the court; and Affidavits and other documents connected with the course of the action. The series known as Early Chancery Proceedings (Richard II. to Philip and Mary), comprising documents of all three classes, is arranged roughly in chronological order. The Record Office has published three volumes of a descriptive list (Nos. XII., XVI. and XX.) of the whole of this series; and the first two bundles have been printed in full in the Record Commission's Calendar of Proceedings in Chancery, Elizabeth; other specimens are printed in Select Pleas of the Chancery (Selden Society), edited by W. P. Baildon. For the reign of Elizabeth the Proceedings are arranged alphabetically under the plaintiff’s name in two series. Series I. is calendared in the Record Commission volumes already mentioned for Series Il.; the Record Office has published a descriptive list (Nos. VII. and VIII.) covering the years 1558–1621. To the Bills and Answers of the reign of Charles II. Messrs Phillimore and Fry have published in the Index Library of the British Record Society an index taken from Topham’s manuscript index in the Record Office. The same society has reproduced in an alphabetical form an index to the proceedings in Reynardson’s division for the years 1694–1714. These last indexes contain only the surnames of the parties, without reference to the nature of the suit. Decrees and Orders (36 Henry VIII. to the present time) are the entry-books of the orders of the court; with them may be classed the Reports and Certificates of the masters and chief clerks. The Affidavits, &c., date from 1611.
The chancellor formerly had a common law jurisdiction relating to certain matters touching feudal incidents and tenures, to repeals of letters patent, and to actions upon recognizances acknowledged in chancery or concerning officers of the court. No printed means of referring to these records exist.
Court of King’s Bench.—The principal records of this court are the rolls recording its proceedings and judgments, of which classified lists are given in the Record Office List of Plea Rolls (No. IV.), under the following heads. Curia Regis Rolls (5 Richard I. to 56 Henry III.) include all the rolls of the king's court with the exception of a few Eyre Rolls. Of these the Record Commission printed those for 6, 9, 10 Richard I. and 1 John; and also published in the Abbreviatio Placitorum certain abstracts from a portion of the pleas on these rolls made in the 17th century. For specimens see Selden Society volumes, Select Civil Pleas, edited by W. P. Baildon, and Select Pleas of the Crown, edited by F. W. Maitland, who has also edited for the Pipe Roll Society four rolls of the reign of Richard I. From the end of the reign of Henry III. the rolls of the king’s bench and those of the common pleas (see below) have been separated. The former, named Coram Rege Rolls (1 Edward I. to 13 William III.), divide from I Anne into two portions, Judgment Rolls, containing pleas between private persons, and Crown Rolls, containing crown business. References to some pleas on the Coram Rege Rolls will be found in the Abbreviatio Placitorum; the complete roll for 25 Edward I. has been printed by the British Record Society.
Assize Rolls, &c.—Under this head are grouped rolls containing the proceedings before justices in eyre, of assize, of oyer and terminer, of gaol delivery (a few) and before justices sent on special commission. References to some of these will be found in the Abbreviatio Placitorum; and specimens in the Selden Society volumes already mentioned. The Eyre Roll for Gloucestershire, 5 Henry III., has been published by F. W. Maitland. The leadings taken under writs of Quo Warranto during the period Edward I. to Edward III. were published by the Record Commission. For specimens of Coroners Rolls (Henry III. to Henry VI.) see the Selden Society's volume edited by C. Gross. Baga de Secretis (since 17 Ed. IV.) contains the proceedings in trials for treason or felony held before the court of king's bench or special commissioners. An inventory and calendar will be found in the 3rd, 4th and 5th reports.
Court of Common Pleas.—“The Plea Rolls of this court, known as De Banco Rolls, runs from 1 Edward I., before which date pleas before justices of the common bench form part of the Curia Regis Rolls, to 24 Henry VII., from which date the Plea Rolls are known as Common Rolls; But in 25 Elizabeth all common recoveries and enrolments of deeds were transferred to a new roll called the Recovery Roll, the series of which extends to 1837. In the Year Books edited for the Rolls Series by L. O. Pike, and those edited for the Selden Society by F. W. Maitland, the cases reported have, when possible, been traced on to the De Banco Rolls and extracts from those rolls printed. Feet of Fines (up to 1835) are the official part of the triplicate document constituting the complete fine. Those for the period 7 Richard I. to 16 John have been printed by the Record Commission for the counties Bedfordshire to Dorset in alphabetical order. Four volumes printed for the Pipe Roll Society cover the years down to 10 Richard I. for all counties. The feet of fines are arranged in counties year by year up to the reign of Henry VIII. Afterwards they are arranged 'term by term in counties. Notes of Fines (since Edward I.) are the records of an earlier stage in the procedure; Concords of Fines (since 1559) form another stage; but to neither of these are there printed means of reference.
Court of Star Chamber.—The relation between the king's council sitting as a judicial body and the Court of Star Chamber set up by the act of 3 Henry VII., c. I, is matter of controversy. The records of this court are nearly all of later date than this act. They consist of Bills, Answers, Depositions and similar documents, with a very few Decrees and Orders. The Record Office has published a descriptive list (No. XIII.) of a portion of these records; or specimens see Selden Society, Select Cases in the Star Chamber, 1477–1509, edited by I. S. Leadam.
Court of Requests.—The origin of this court and the manner in which it died out at the time of the Civil War are alike uncertain. The records that remain are of two kinds, Proceedings and Books. Of the former the Record Office has published a descriptive list (No. XXI.); and specimens will be found in Select Cases in the Court of Requests, edited for the Selden Society by I. S. Leadam. The Books contain among other matters the Decrees and Orders of the court.
Parlimentary Records.—The proceedings of parliament were recorded either on a roll prepared for each session, or on detached documents and petitions made up into sessional files. The files have now disappeared, although transcripts of some still exist, and in many cases their constituents can be traced among the Ancient Petitions (see below under Special Collections). The rolls known as Parliament Rolls form a broken series, 18 Edward I. to 48–49 Victoria. The rolls for Edward I. and Edward II. are among the Exchequer records, and the remainder are in the chancery. Of these rolls and files, and of certain pleadings found in the records of the King's Remembrancer, the Record Commission published what was meant to be a complete reprint. But the editors relied partl upon transcripts and partly upon original documents, and it is often difficult to determine the sources from which they drew. So prepared, the Rolls of Parliament (6 vols.) cover the period from 6 Edward I. to 1 Mary. The roll for 33 Edward I., unknown to them, has been edited (Rolls Series, vol. 98) by F. W. Maitland, with a valuable introduction and appendices; rolls for 18 Edward I. and 12 Edward II. are printed in H. Coles’ Documents Illustrative of English History. The Parliament Roll includes enrolments of statutes among its contents. But from Edward I. to Edward IV. the statutes after receiving the royal assent were also enrolled upon the Statute Roll (chancery), of which only six rolls now remain. From these rolls and other sources the Record Commission prepared the volumes known as Statutes of the Realm on principles described in the introduction to that work. Unfortunately the editors made use of early printed texts, and translations based upon the inferior texts contained in Exchequer K.R. Miscellaneous Books 9, 10 and 11, and so diminished the value of their work. The Statutes of the Realm extend to the end of the reign of Queen Anne. Since then public general acts have been published in many forms; private acts ceased to be enrolled upon the Parliament Rolls during the 16th century; the originals are preserved in the House of Lords. The Record Office contains detached documents relating to parliamentary proceeding known as Exchequer Parliamentary and Chancery Parliamentary, but neither class has yet taken a final form.
State Papers.—This class contains the documents belonging to the offices of the secretaries of state, formerly deposited in the place of custody called the State Paper Office. This office was established about the year 1578, but the first attempt to arrange its contents seems to have been due to Sir Thomas Wilson, who in the reign of James I. divided the papers into two classes, Domestic and Foreign, to which at a later date the class of Colonial Papers was added. These. series all come to an end at the year 1782, at which date the modern history of the office of Secretary of State begins.
Domestic.—Calendars of these papers have been published for the period 1547–1676, with special volumes dealing with the papers of the Committee for Advance of Money (1642–1656), and of the Committee for Compounding (1643–1660). Another series of volumes begins with the year 1689, and a third extends from 1760 to 1775; these last are called Home Office Papers, but are in no way different in character from the State Papers Domestic. The Domestic Papers relating exclusively to Ireland have been calendared under the title of State Papers, Ireland, for the years 1509–1601 and 1603–1665, with a special volume dealing with the papers concerning Adventurers for Land. From 1670 these papers are calendared in the Domestic volumes.
Scotland.—Originally there were in the State Paper Office two sets of papers relating to Scotland, State Papers Domestic, Border Papers, containing papers concerning the Council of the North and the Wardens of the Marches; and State Papers Foreign, Scotland, before the union of the two crowns. The first calendar of these was a Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, 1509–1603, containing brief notes of all the State Papers Foreign, Scotland, and of many of the Border Papers which were removed from their places without any record of the removal. Next came the Calendar of State Papers Foreign, in which were included apparently all the Border Papers for the period covered which had escaped the previous raid; notes, however, were made of the papers so taken. Out of the original 75 volumes of Border Papers only 36 remained. At a later date the papers drawn for the Foreign Calendar were restored and now form the first 19 volumes of the series, while the 36 volumes originally remaining have now become the final 23. At the same time the State Papers Foreign, Scotland, were annexed, and became State Papers Domestic, Scotland. In their present arrangement the Border Papers have been calendared in the following volumes: vols. 1–19 in the State Papers Foreign 1547–1560; vols. 20–42 in the Scottish General Register Office Calendar of Border Papers 1560–1603. The State Papers Domestic, Scotland, from 1547 onwards, are being fully calendared in the Scottish General Register Office Calendar of Scottish Papers with other material. Those from 1509 to 1547 are dealt with in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII. (see below, Special Collections). A list of these three Classes has been published (No. III.).
Foreign.—Calendars of the State Papers Foreign have been published for the period 1547–1580. A few of these papers are also calendared in the first volume of the State Papers Spanish (see below under Spain). The Record Office has published a list of the State Papers Foreign (No. XIX.).
Colonial.—These papers are calendared in two sets, an “East Indies” (1513–1634, which has been continued to 1639 by the India Office in Miss E. B. Sainsbury’s Court Minutes of the East India Company) and an “America and West Indies” (1574–1693, In progress).
Departmental Records.—From time to time all the government departments, with the exception of the India Office, deposit such papers as they wish to preserve in the Public Record Office; thus the Treasury, Home Office, Foreign Office, Colonial Office, Admiralty, War Office, Local Government Board and Board of Trade have all placed important papers in the care of the Master of the Rolls. A calendar of the earlier Treasury Papers, which extends from 1660 to 1668 and 1720 to 1745 has been published; also a list of the Admiralty Records (No. XVII.). For each department a limiting date is fixed from time to time; documents before that time are open to students; later ones are only accessible under special conditions.
Subordoinate and Independent Jurisdictions.—Palatinate of Durham:-For the earlier records see G. T. Lapsley’s County Palatine of Durham (Harvard Historical Series, vol. viii.), pp. 327-337. The letters sent out from the bishops’ chancery are enrolled on the Cursitors’ Records, Nos. 29 to 184. They are calendared in Reports 31 to 37 and 40. One of the registers (Bishop Kellawe’s) has been printed in full in the Rolls series (No. 62) with additions from the register of Bishop Bury. The Cursitors’ Records also include seven bundles of Inquisitions Post Mortem (Nos. 164–180), calendared in the 44th Report; and a volume (No. 2) contains transcripts of similar documents, calendared in the 45th Report. The records of the Exchequer of Durham, though deposited in the Public Record Office, are treated as the private record; of the Ecclesiastical Commission, and are only accessible with a special permit. To the judicial records the only printed means of reference is the list of Judgment Rolls (20 Henry VII. to 7–8 Victoria) in the Record Office list of Plea Rolls (No. IV.)
Palatinate of Chester.—The letters sent out from the chancery are enrolled upon the Chester Recognizance Rolls (1 Edward II. to 34 Charles II. with a few rolls down to 1 William IV.) calendared in Reports 36–37 and 39. The financial records of the Exchequer of Chester are listed among the Ministers’ Accounts (List No. V.) of the county of Chester. The Inquisitions post Mortem and ad quod damnum (Edward III. to Charles I.) are indexed in the 25th report. The judicial records consist of Pleas in the Exchequer, a court of equity. Its records are Bills and Answers (Henry VIII. to George IV.), calendared in the 25th Report up to Philip and Mary; and Decrees and Orders. The court of the justices of Chester was at common law; its Plea Rolls (44 Henry III. to 1 William IV.), with a separate series for Flint (from 12 Edward I.) are listed among the Plea Rolls (List No. IV.). The Deeds, Inquisitions and Writs of Dower upon these rolls for the period Henry III. to Henry VIII. are calendared in the 26th–30th Reports without an index. The Assize Rolls for the counties of Chester and Flint and for the honour of Macclesfield are listed among the other assize rolls (List No. IV.).
Wales.—The following are the principal records of the principality of Wales: Ministers’ Accounts and Court Rolls, including those of the principality and of the honours and manors of the Lords Marchers, listed in Lists Nos. V. and VI. Of the judicial records of the Great Sessions of Wales, set up by the act 34 & 35 Henry VIII., c. 26, the Plea Rolls are listed in the list of Plea Rolls (No. IV). For an account of the Court of the Marches in Wales, see C. A. Skeel’s The Council in the Marches of Wales.
The Duchy and Palatinate of Lancaster.—The duchy of Lancaster comprises all the estates of the duke of Lancaster; the palatinate is limited to the county of Lancaster. The records of the palatinate, transferred to the Public Record Office from Lancaster castle, related to the county and are either enrolments of writs or of a judicial nature. The records of the duchy, trans erred from the office of the duchy at Westminster, include similar records and others dealing with the manorial and financial records of all the estates within and without the county. For the Duchy Records see the detailed list (No. XIV.), where the means of reference to this collection are fully described. Of the Palatinate Records the enrolments of writs are classified as Patent and Close Rolls. The former, a broken series from 5 John of Gaunt to 21 Henry VII., are calendared in the 40th Report; the latter (in 3 rolls, a broken series, II Henry IV. to 9 Edward IV.) in the 37th Report; but certain enrolments of the palatinate are among the duchy records. The judicial records of the chancery are not calendared; but the proceedings by way of appeal from that court to the Duchy Chamber at Westminster are dealt with in the duchy list. Proceedings under common law include Plea Rolls (2 Henry IV. to 11 Victoria) listed in the list of Plea Rolls (No. IV.); and for criminal proceedings there are palatinate Assize Rolls (Henry VI. to 6 Victoria), of which there is a list in the same place. But certain rolls which were among the Duchy Records will be found apart at pages 139–140 of the same list.
Bishopric of Ely.—The act 1 & 2 Victoria, c. 94, places the records of this palatinate under the charge of the Master of the Rolls. They have never been removed to the Record Office, but remain at Ely with the episcopal records, where they can be inspected. A valuable descriptive list has been published by Alfred Gibbons for private circulation.
Special Collections.—For the classification of the records hitherto described the knowledge preserved of their origin and purpose has been used. There exist, however, masses of records where this path is now inaccessible; these have been formed by putting together records of a similar nature either in ignorance of their history or without regarding it; the justification of this course of action must be found in the special circumstances of each case. These collections are as follows:—
Ministers Accounts are the accounts of bailiffs, receivers, and other officers managing estates, including, first, those of the duchy of Lancaster; second, accounts of crown lands filed as vouchers in the King’s Remembrancer’s Office; third, accounts of monastic and other lands seized by the crown, or acquired by it by purchase, inheritance or marriage. A list of these accounts has been published by the Record Office (Nos. V. and VIII.) covering the period down to 1485. For the accounts of the duchy of Lancaster a list will be found in the 45th Report, extending to the reign of George III.
Court Rolls are records of the proceedings and profits of manorial and other private courts coming from the same sources as the Ministers’ Accounts, and closely connected with them. For a list see Record Office, Lists and Indexes, No. VI.; and for specimens Select Pleas in Manorial Courts, edited for the Selden Society by F. W. Maitland.
Ancient Deeds.—In this collection are placed all documents which appear to have formed part of a title to land, some original royal charters and other analogous records. There are five series, A, B, C, D, and E, distinguished by their former place of custody. Documents too large for the ordinary method of packing have a double letter, e.g. A.A., and to those bearing fine seals the letter S is added, e.g. AS or AAS. There are thus in all fifteen classes. The A classes are derived from the Treasury of Receipt, or Chapter House at Westminster, and are largely monastic; the B classes are from the court of Augmentations; the C classes are chancery deeds, probably deposited as exhibits in suits or for enrolments; the D classes are from the King’s Remembrancer’s office; and the E classes are from the Land Revenue office. In 1907 five volumes of a descriptive catalogue had been published by the Record Office.
Ancient Correspondence consists of documents which in form are rather of the nature of a letter than a writ or petition. Most of them were found detached in the Chancery records, but similar documents from other sources have been added. The introduction to the Record Office List (No. XV.) contains some account of the formation of the class, and the list gives references to printed collections based upon these documents. Vol. 53 contains letters of the Cely Family and is published (Camden Society, 3rd series, vol. i.).
Ancient Petitions.—The history of the formation of this class is obscure; an account of it is in the Record Office Index to the class (No. I.); but see also the Introduction to F. W. Maitland’s Memoranda de Parliamento (Rolls Series, vol. 98), in which volume a number of these petitions are printed in full.
Diplomatic Documents.—In the Chapter House at Westminster was a collection of treaties and other documents connected with foreign affairs, and to these have been added other similar documents found there. Of these there is a descriptive list in the 45th and 49th Reports. A collection of so-called Diplomatic Documents from the chancery forms part of the Chancery Miscellanea.
Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII.—This great collection of materials for the reign of Henry VIII. (Calendar of 20 volumes in 30) at present extends to the year 1547, and is intended to contain abstracts of all documents bearing upon that reign in the Record Office, the British Museum and other collections. Record Office documents dealt with in this Calendar have sometimes been left in their original place of custody and sometimes transferred to a series of bound volumes known as Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. References will be found in the Calendar to a previous series of State Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII., printed by a Royal Commission for printing State Papers.
Miscellaneous Books.—The many books and registers preserved in the Record Office will be found described in the Handbook. The following have been printed:-
Exchequer King’s Remembrancer
Vol. 2. The Red Book of the Exchequer (Rolls Series, No. 99).
Vol. 3. Book of Aids. (See Feudal Aids, published by Record Office.)
Vol. 4. Book of Knight’s Fees. (See Feudal Aids.)
Vols. 5 & 6. Testa de Nevill; printed by the Record Commission.
Vol. 12. Liber Niger Parvus, printed by Thomas Hearne.
Vols. 13 & 14. Taxatio Ecclesiastica; printed by the Record Commission.
Vol. 17. A 16th-century transcript of an abstract of Kirkby’s Quest for certain counties; used in Feudal Aids.
Vol. 24. Chartulary of Malmesbury Abbey (Rolls Series, No. 72).
Vol. 28. Chartulary of Ramsey Abbey (Rolls Series, No. 79).
Vol. 32. The Book of Common Prayer deposited under the Act of
Vols. 35 & 36. Accounts of the voyages of Martin Frobisher (Hakluyt’s Voyages).
Exchequer Treasury of Receipt
Domesday Book.-Indexes and supplementary matter were printed by the Record Commission. Since then facsimiles of the text for each county have been issued.
Vols. 16–55. Certificates of Musters. (See Letters and Papers of the Reign of Henry VIII.)
Vol. 69. Extents of Knights' Fees in the Honour of Richmond; printed in Gale's Registrum Honoris de Richemond.
Vol. 87. Abstracts of Placita Coram Rege, &c.; printed in Abbreviatio Placitorum (Record Commission).
Volt 92. Statutes of the Order of the Garter. Cf. I. Anstis, Register of the Order of the Garter.
Exchequer Augmentation Office
Vol. 57. Rentals and Custumals of Battle Abbey (Camden Society, Series 2, vol. 41).
Vols. 179–184. Copies of Leases. Indexed in 49th Report.
Vols. 495–515. Inventories of Church Goods. For details of those printed, see Mély et Bishop, Bibliographie Générale des Inventaires Imprimés.
The following accounts of other collections of records are necessarily less detailed:-
Privy Council Office.—The registers of the Privy Council are still preserved in that office, with the exception of a few volumes which have strayed into other places. J. R. Dasent has edited for the Master of the Rolls a series of volumes containing The Acts of the Privy Council, from 1542 to 1604. The Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, 10 Rich. II.–33 Henry VIII., edited for the Record Commission by Sir N. Harris Nicolas, are from documents in the Cotton MSS. and from transcripts made by Rymer from documents then at the Pells Office.
India Office.—The records of the India Office are preserved there. Complete printed lists exist for the whole collection, and the following documents have been published: The First Letter Book of the East India Company, edited by Sir G. Birdwood and W. Foster; Letters received by the East India Company from its Servants in the East, edited by F. C. Danvers and W. Foster (6 vols.). The records in India may be mentioned here. Each presidency and each province' keeps its own; and this is the case also with the smaller subdivisions. No printed lists appear to exist for any of the collections. The following volumes have been published: Letters, Despatches and other Papers of the Foreign Department of the Government of India, 1772–85, edited by G. W. Forrest (3 vols., Calcutta); Bengal 1756–1757, edited by S. C. Hill (3 vols. 1905); and Old Fort William, edited by C. R. Wilson (3 vols., 1906–7).
The Public Record Office of Ireland was established in 1867 by the Act 30 & 31 Vict. c. 70, when the records of the various courts of law, all wills proved in Ireland, and certain financial records, were collected into one building. The State Paper Office remains a separate, though subordinate, department in one of the towers of Dublin Castle, whence the papers are only transferred to the Record Office by special order. The Deputy Keeper of the Irish Record Office publishes yearly reports with appendices. The most important calendar published in these is that of Fiants or warrants for the issue of letters under the Great Seal, Henry VIII. to Elizabeth, contained in Reports 7–9, 11–13, 15–18, with indices for each reign. A calendar of the Deeds of Christ Church, Dublin, is contained in the 20th, 23rd, 24th and 27th Reports. The Wills of the diocese of Dublin, down to the year 1800, are indexed under the names of the testators in the 26th and 30th Reports. The series of Proclamations by the lord lieutenant and council, and by the crown, which is among the records in the Record Tower of Dublin Castle, is catalogued in the 23rd and 24th Reports. Of the financial records very little has been published. In the 33rd Report there is a good account of the Books of the Treasury and Accounting Departments from the reign of Henry VIII. Scattered entries from the Pipe Rolls (13 Henry III.–33 Edward I.) are printed in the 33rd and 35th–38th Reports. Before the establishment of the Record Office the Irish Record Commission published a Latin calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls from Henry II. to Henry VII., and an incomplete calendar in English for the years 5–35 Henry VIII. Under the authority of the Master of the Rolls a calendar was published for the period Henry VIII. to Elizabeth, upon which some severe comments will be found in J. T. Gilbert’s The History . . . of the Public Records of Ireland.
An English calendar for the reign of James I. was published by the Record Commission; and a calendar for the years 1–8 Charles I., under the authority of the Master of the Rolls. Two large folio volumes entitled Liber Hibernie should here be mentioned. The history and contents of this astounding work can be gathered from its introduction, and from an index to it in the 9th Report. Inquisitions post mortem and on attainder, for the provinces of Leinster and Ulster only, are dealt with in the Record Commission's Inquisitionum in officio Rotulorum Cancellarie Hibernie asservatarum Repertorium. Of strictly judicial records the Record Office has published one volume of an admirable calendar of the Justiciary Rolls (1295–1303).
The records of the kingdom are deposited in several places in Edinburgh. The principal repository is the General Register House, at present governed by the Act 42 & 43 Vict. c. 44. But certain records of the chancery and all the records of the court of teinds are in separate repositories. A general account of these records is given in M. Livingstone's Guide to the Public Records of Scotland deposited in H .M General Register House, Edinburgh, with appendices describing those contained in other repositories.
Parliamentary.—The Record Commission of Great Britain published The Acts of the Parliament of Scotland (1124–1707), a text derived from many sources described in the introductory volume; The Acts of the Lords Auditors of Causes and Complaints (1466–1494), being the proceedings of the parliamentary committee for hearing petitions; and The Acts of the Lords of Council (1478–1495), being proceedings of a similar body.
Privy Council.-The register of the Privy Council of Scotland from 1545 is in course of publication at the General Register House. Exchequer.-The Exchequer Rolls, corresponding to the Great Roll of the English Exchequer, are being printed in full from 1264 at the General Register House; and the accounts of the Treasurer of Scotland from 1473 are being published at the same office.
Chancery.—The enrolments of letters issued under the Great Seal of Scotland are contained in twelve rolls and a series of volumes. The Record Commission printed these registers in full for the period 1306–1424; and the General Register House is continuing the publication in an abridged form.
Court of Chancery.—Only the enrolments of letters under the Great Seal are transferred to the General Register House; the remainder are preserved in the court of chancery. The most important of these are the Retours to Chancery. To these the onlay printed means of reference is the Inquisitionum ad capellam Domini Regis retornatarum abbreviatio (16th and 17th centuries), published by the Record Commission.
To deal with the municipal and local records of Great Britain in any detail is quite impossible in this article. Fortunately the admirable work of C. Gross, entitled The Bibliography of Municipal History (Harvard Historical Studies), contains a comp ete account of the work done on municipal records up to 1897; while the Report of the Committee appointed to inquire as to the existing arrangements for the collection and custody of local records (1902) affords a complete view of the questions dealt with by it.
Private Collections.—The publications of the Historical Manuscripts Commission are in most cases the only printed means of reference to private muniments. The 17th Report of the Commission contains an index to all the collections of papers so far dealt with by them.
Wills.—Up to the date of the Probate Act (20 & 21 Vict. c. 77) the proving of wills was under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the wills themselves were scattered among peculiar courts—courts of the various bishops, and the prerogative court of Canterbury. By the passing of the act a general registry was established at Somerset House, to which were transferred all the wills of the prerogative court of Canterbury and of many of the other registries. But even at the present time there remains much confusion and uncertainty as to the place of deposit of the wills of any particular court; and for accurate information on this point the inquirer must be referred to the Handbook to the Ancient Courts of Probate and Depositories of Wills, by G. W Marshall.
For the British colonies the most important records, historically speaking, are the Colonial Office papers deposited in the Public Record Office, London; and those colonies which have published the records relating to their history have usually gone to that source. In New South Wales, however, there is in the Colonial Secretary's office at Sydney a collection of records dating from 1789, which are included in the volumes published by that State Cape Colony possesses records dating from 1652; G. McCall Theal, historiographer of the colony, has also published important series of volumes of documents drawn from the Public Record Office and other European sources. Canada has recently centralized its records, of which a large part so far consists of transcripts made in Europe. For an account see E. C. Burnett’s List of printed guides to and descriptions of Archives and other repositories of Historical Manuscripts (American Historical Manuscripts Commission Report, 1897). The Dominion Archivist submits yearly to the Minister for Agriculture a report, in which (in Appendices) are given many lists and accounts of records.
In dealing with Great Britain it has seemed desirable to give some account of publications dealing with the contents of the repositories described. In the remainder of the article this will not be attempted. For the most part the books mentioned are in themselves bibliographies and guides, and do not contain even abstracts or descriptions of actual documents. It is scarcely necessary to explain that much of the following information is based on the work of Langlois and Stein.
Austra and Hungary.—The records of Austria-Hungary, Bohemia, and the other states under the same government, are still preserved locally. There are repositories of government records at Vienna, Budapest and Prague, and ten provincial places of deposit. Even at Vienna there is nothing resembling the English Public Record Office; the Kaiserliches und königliches Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv contains the papers of the imperial family and the records of imperial administration and of that of foreign affairs. Of other departmental papers those at the Ministry of War are the most important. There is no complete inventory of all these records. At Budapest since 1875 have been collected the archives of Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia and the government of Fiume: for an account of the records in this and other Hungarian and Transylvanian repositories see Fr. Zimmermann's Über Archiv in Ungarn; ein Führer durch ungarlandische und siebenburgische Archive.
Belgium.—The records are numerous and valuable. State Records comprise all those of the central governments, nf the modern kingdom, of the governments preceding it and of the various states such as Brabant, Flanders, Gueldres and Hainault out of which Belgium was formed. They are preserved partly at Brussels as General Records of the Kingdom and partly in provincial repositories. Thus at Ghent are archives of the county of Flanders, at Liege of the principality of that name and of the duchy of Limburg, at Mons of the county of Hainault, at Bruges of the liberty of Bruges and other jurisdictions of eastern Flanders; at Namur, Arlon, Hasselt and Tournai are repositories of less importance: at the same time the repository at Brussels contains many records of the same kind as those in the provincial offices and is the chief one of the country; the collection there has been formed from various collections in Belgium combined with records restored by the Austrian government and other acquisitions.
Archives Provinciales, the records of provincial administrations since 1794, are placed in the chief towns of each province: each collection falls into three periods, French (1794-1814), Dutch (1814-1830) and Belgian.
Municipal Archives.-The most important are those of Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent; Malines, Mons, Tournai and Ypres. The best book of general bibliographical reference for Belgian records is Pirenne's Bibliographic de l’histoire de Belgique.
Denmark.—At Copenhagen there has been, since 1889, a central Record office (Rigsarchiv) containing all the previously existing collections of records, and receiving those of the various ministries and offices. There are also repositories there, and at Odense and Viborg, for local records, municipal and others. The central office is publishing a series of inventories of documents in its charge.
France.—The best general work is Les Archives de l'histoire de France, by Langlois and Stein. The administration of the records is attached to the Ministry of Public Instruction, acting through a commission and inspectors.
Archives Nationales, in the Hotel Soubise at Paris, are divided into three sections, Historique, Administrative et Dornaniale and Legislative et Judiciaire, each including subsections distinguished by letters or groups of letters. The classification is by subject, not necessarily by origin or function; but some of the classes, e.g. the archives of the Trésor des Chartes, the Parliament of Paris and the Chdtelet, represent real groups of records with a common history.
Archives des Ministères.-In theory the Archives Nationales should receive all government office records, except those in current use: actually several offices retain their own. Thus the Ministry of Foreign Affairs keeps its archives, divided into Correspondance politique and Mémoires et Documents: it also publishes series of Inventaires analytiques des Archives du Ministere des Ajfaires étrangeres, and Recueils des instructions données aux arnbassadeurs et rninistres de France depuis les traités de Westphalie jusqu'a la Révolution française. The Ministries of War and the Marine likewise possess and administer their own archives.
Archives Départementales.—Each department possesses a special office for the custody of its records, which are in many cases of great importance, consisting partly of the records of the ancient provincial governments, private documents seized at the Revolution, muniments of religious houses, &c., and partly of modern administrative records. A system of uniform classification by subjects has been applied to these, coupled with a rule that documents having a common history and origin are not to be separated; it is understood that the intelligence of the archivists in charge has enabled them to disobey neither of these regulations. For a general view of the arrangement and contents of departmental repositories see Etat généra par fonds des archives départernentales, ancien régime et période révolutionnaire (1903), and the Inventaires Sommaires for the several departments. For the publication of local societies see Manuel de bibliographic de l'histoire, by Ch. V. Langlois, (1901) p. 385 seq.
Archives Municipales et Communales: the value of these arises largely from their having had an undisturbed history: inventories of most of the collections exist in print. (See Langlois and Stein, op. cit. pp. 278-442.)
Archives Hospitalières form an important body of records, for the most part undisturbed. For their classification, and a list of the repositories of them, see Langlois and Stein, p. 443 seq.; the many other places in France where records exist are mentioned in the same work; note, however, that the archives of the Bastille are now in the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal at Paris. There are in the English ~Public Record Office seventy-three volumes of transcripts from French archives, taken partly from the Archives Nationales (Letters of Henrietta Maria, &c.) and partly from Archives Départementales. The Record Office Calendar of Documents, France, edited by J. H. Round, containing early monastic charters, is based on these.
Germany.—Unfortunately lists of German State archives (Geheimes Archiv) are not published. Repositories are very numerous: for their localities, see the Hand- und Addressbuch der deutschen Archive of C. A. H. Burkhardt (2nd ed., 1887). In 'Prussia, besides the central repository at Berlin, there are sixteen provincial ones of importance. The other kingdoms and states forming part of the German empire have each their repository, not always at the capital. Some account of their contents will be found in Langlois and Stein (op. cit.) and in Fr. von Löher's Archivlehre. Grundzüge der Geschichte, Aufgaben und Einrichtung unserer Archive: for the publication of State Records see Dahlmann-Waitz, Quellenkunde zur deutschen, Geschichte; and for Prussian archives in particular R. Koser's Uber den gegenwärtigen Stand der archivalischen Forschung in Preussen (1900). For the numerous and valuable records of German towns reference may be made to the works already mentioned. Many of the towns, e.g. Cologne, publish volumes drawn from their archives, and even include in them documents from other sources. Of special interest to English students is Konstantin Hohlbaum's work upon the Hanse towns. The Record Office has a volume of transcripts from German archives.
Holland.—There is one repository for each of the eleven states. That at the Hague, for south Holland, serves also as a central repository for the whole kingdom. This collection occupies a special building, and includes the records of Foreign Affairs, classed under the countries to which they relate, and certain documents acquired from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillips. There are many printed and manuscript lists, and access to the documents is easy. This is also the case with the other provincial archives, of which the most important are those at Arnheim, Hertogenbosch, Groningen, Haarlem, Maastricht, Middelburg and Utrecht.
Town archives are for the most part well preserved. Printed inventories generally exist, and in some cases, e.g. at Doesburg, the archives contain information as to the relations between the Hanse and England in the 14th century.
Dutch repositories have no administrative inter-Connexion. Each archivist reports yearly to the archivist-in-chief of the kingdom, and since 1878 these Verslagen omtrent Rijks oude Archieven have been printed.
The English Public Record Office has four volumes of transcripts from Dutch archives.
Italy.—The administration of the public records of the kingdom is attached to the Ministry of the Interior, for which office Signor Vazio published (1883) his Relazione sugli archivi di stato italiani. There are seventeen repositories, representing the ancient divisions of the kingdom. The most important are the following:—
Florence, containing records of the foreign correspondence of the dukes of Tuscany and the Florentine republic.
Genoa, records of the republic.
Milan. records of the duchy, in particular the registers called L’Archivio Panigarola.
Modena, records of the family of Este.
Naples, in particular the Cancelleria Angioina, records of the Angevin kings of Naples, containing documents relative to their extensive dominions in Provence, Anjou and elsewhere, for a bibliographical account of which see Les Archives Angevines de Naples; études sur les registries du Roi Charles Iᵉʳ, by Paul Durrieu. Naples also possesses the important Archivio Farnesiano, mainly records of the duke of Parma, brought there by Charles I. of Bourbon on his accession to the throne of the Two Sicilies in 1735.
Palermo, the records of the island of Sicily.
Rome, the most important records of the Archivio di Stato are those relating to the papal government which were not transferred to the Vatican in 1871.,
Turin, the archives of the house of Savoy, especially the letters from envoys at foreign courts, a series of very important reports.
Venice, the convent dei Frari contains probably the most interesting collection of records in Italy. Rawdon Brown, G. Cavendish Bentinck, and H. F. Brown have edited many of the principal documents relating to England in the State Papers: Venetian (Record Office), which are still in progress. The Record Office also possesses two hundred and ten volumes of transcripts from Venetian archives, mostly the reports and correspondence of ambassadors, together with Rawdon Brown's large collection of similar materials, mainly originals or early copies (see Report 46).
The Vatican.—For the history of the papal archives the work of H. Bresslau, Handbuch der Urkundenlehre für Deutschland und Italien (Leipzig, 1889), may be consulted. The best English account is contained in an article in the American Historical Review (October 1896), by C. H. Haskins. But certain of the prefaces to the Record Office Calendar mentioned below may be consulted; and the description given by Langlois and Stein (op. cit.) is useful. The Vatican archives have been open to students only since the year 1881. The chief portion of the collection is that called the Archivio Segreto, which may be divided into two heads, the original Archivio Segreto and the archives added to it from Avignon, from the castle of St Angelo and from special offices such as the Consistory, Dataria Apostolica, Rota, Secretaria Brevium, Signatura Gratiae, Penitentiary, and Master of the Ceremonies. The records of the congregations of the Index, the Holy Office and the Propaganda are not usually accessible to students.
Since 1881 the importance of the archives has attracted to Rome many bands of students. Most European governments have arranged for the publication of records dealing with their own countries. The classes of documents that have received most attention are the Regesta, or registers of bulls and briefs, issued by the papal chancery; the Supplicationes, or petitions; and the Nuntiaturae, or dispatches received from the nuncios and instructions sent to them. An account of the numerous publications will be found in the works already mentioned. Here it is only possible to mention-the English publications. The Record Office in London has published one volume of Petitions, 1342–1417, and a Calendar from the Regesta, which covers the period 1198–1431. The French government is publishing a complete Calendar of the Regesta up to the end of the 13th century. There are in the English Public Record Office one hundred and sixty-two volumes of transcripts from the Vatican archives arranged in two series.
Norway.—The records of Norway are preserved at Christiania, and include a collection of papers of Christian II., king of Denmark. For the contents of the collection, see Diplomatarium Norvegicum, by Lange and Unger (1849–1891); and Norske Rigsregistranter tildeels i uddrag, dealing with the 16th and 17th centuries.
Portugal.—Portuguese royal records are in the monastery of Sao Bento at Lisbon. The collection suffered much during the earthquake of 1755. It includes the registers of the Chancery since the 13th century, and a large number of documents subsidiary to them. In addition to this repository there are collections at the various ministries; from the records of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Borges de Castro, and afterwards Judice Biker, published their Collecção dos Tratados . . . entre a Corona de Portugal e as mais potentias. There are three volumes of transcripts from Portuguese records in the English Public Record Office.
Russia.—The records of the Russian government are distributed in various repositories in Moscow and St Petersburg. At the former are preserved the records of the foreign relations of Russia down to 1801; permission to use them can be obtained from the Minister for Foreign Affairs: there are no printed lists, but many in manuscript. At Moscow are also preserved the records of the Ministry of Justice. In vol. xliv. of the Revue historique (1890) there is an article by J.-J. Chemko and L.-M. Balffol on Les Archives de l’empire russe à Moscow. The records of government offices at St Petersburg are not open to students. There are minor repositories at various provincial capitals, and the records of the Grand Duchy of Finland are at Helsingfors. There are three volumes of transcripts from Russian records at the English Public Record Office.
Spain.—The nearest approach to a central Record Office for Spain is the Archivo General Central, established by a royal ordinance of 1858 at Alcala de Henares, near Madrid. The collection there includes, in addition to the general administrative records of the kingdom, valuable historical matter concerning the Inquisition, the Jesuits, and other subjects. There is also at Madrid a repository known as the Archivo Histórico Nacional, which contains the archives of crown lands and suppressed monasteries, with a printed inventory. The remaining records are distributed locally in separate repositories containing the archives of the old kingdoms. Those of Castile are partly at Simancas and partly at Alcala de Henares. Those of Aragon are at Barcelona in the Palacio de los Condes. Those of Navarre are at Pamplona and difficult of access. The remainder are of small importance.
In addition to these there are two collections requiring notice, the Archivo general de Indias at Seville and the papers of the Consulado del Mar at Bilbao.
The English Public Record Office is publishing a Calendar of the papers relating to England in Spanish and other connected archives. The introduction to the first volume, edited by C. Bergenroth, contains a sketch of the records used by him; and the series, under the successive editorship of Bergenroth, Don Pasquale de Gayangos and Major Martin Hume, now extends from the reign of Henry VIII. to the year 1603. The Record Office possesses sixty-five volumes of transcript from Spanish archives.
Sweden.—The archives have not yet been centralized, and large collections exist at the various ministries. The most important records, however, are the Royal Archives (Rigsarchivet), preserved in the island of Riddarholmen, Stockholm. A great many publications have been based on these: there are for instance an inventory, Middlelanden fran Svenska Rigsarchivet; a work bearing generally on Scandinavian history, Handlingar rörande Scandinnaviens historia; and the Diplomotarium Suecicum, which is still in progress. The English Record Office has seven volumes of transcripts from the Stockholm archives, with a report.
Private collections are numerous and valuable, and a society for exploring and publishing such records is supported by the state.
Switzerland.—The Swiss records are of two kinds:records of the confederation, and records of the several cantons. The first are in the Bundes-Archiv at Berne, and date from 1798; see General Repertorium der Acten des helvetischen Centralarchivs in Bern, 1708–1803, and Schweizerisches Urkunden-Register, by B. Hidber, vol. ii. (Berne, 1877). The Cantonal records, some of them of very early date, are at the chief town of each canton, and for the most part are provided with manuscript inventories. For those of Geneva, see also Les Archives de Genève, edited by F. Turrettini and A. C. Grivel (1877). For the records of the Abbey of St Gall, see Urkundenbuch der Abtei St Gallen, edited by H. Wartmanne (1863–1882); and for those of Zurich, Urkztndenbuch der Stadt und Landschaft Zitrich, by P. Schweitzer and E. Escher (1889–1892).
There are in the English Public Record Office five volumes of transcripts from the Bundes-Archiv.
United States of America
The records, among which transcripts made in England, France, and Holland hold an important place, may be divided into: Federal, kept at Washington; those in private collections; and State Records at the various state capitals. The publication and care of all these are often the work of private bodies subsidized or recognized by government. Thus, although Federal archives are now centralized under the charge of the head of the division of Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, which office is acquiring important collections of the papers of former presidents, and may also have transferred to it departmental records not in current use, publication of guides is the concern of the historical section of the Carnegie Institution and of the Archives Commission of the Historical Association. The same association explores private collections through its Historical Manuscripts Commissiorv; and numerous societies publish state' records. Some states, however, have themselves published American and European documents relating to their history; and mention must be made of the large series of American Archives and State Papas published from 1832 onwards by Congress.
The best guide for Federal records is the work of Leland and Valentine; for a general bibliographical work of reference see E. C. Burnett’s List of Printed Guides . . . (Historical MSS. Commission Report, 1897).
In various ways records are apt to wander from their proper custody and to lose their legal character. But in spite of this loss the historian is bound to pursue them either into the hands of private collectors or on to the shelves of some museum. No attempt can be made to discuss private collections or the manuscripts of foreign libraries. Even among English libraries it must be sufficient to mention the British Museum as the principal destination of wandering records. Of the collections in that library the most important to the student of records are the Cottonian, the Harleian and the Lansdowne, all catalogued by the Record Commission; the Additional, catalogued from time to time as fresh matter accrues; the Egerton, catalogued with the Additional; the Sloane and the Stowe, both catalogued. No distinction is made between documents that have been technically “ records ” and others. The whole collection is divided technically into Manuscripts, by which are meant volumes, and Charters and Rolls, meaning detached documents. To the latter class an Index locorum, compiled by H. F. Ellis and F. B. Bickley, has been printed. (C. G. Cr.)