by Olwen Myhill
‘Locating London’s Past’ has been awarded the 2014 British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (BSECS) Prize for Digital Resources. Sponsored by Adam Matthew Digital, this prestigious award promotes the highest standards in the development, utility and presentation of digital resources that assist scholars in the field of eighteenth-century studies.
Locating London’s Past provides free interactive access to a digitised and geo-referenced version of John Rocque’s 1746 multi-sheet map of London, on to which users can plot information from an array of sources for the period, including the Old Bailey trial proceedings, parish records, and extensive data from tax assessments such as the 1666 Hearth Tax levied on the eve of the Great Fire. Funded by a grant from JISC in 2011-2, the resource was created by a partnership between the Centre for Metropolitan History at the IHR, the Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire, and Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).
Announcing the award at its annual conference on 8 January 2014, BSECS stated:
‘This is a superb new free resource, which applies the latest digital mapping techniques to the study of London. It brings together a range of existing datasets, which are particularly useful for the study of ‘history from below’ – but which will also be of tremendous interest to the full range of disciplines that work on the eighteenth century, including literature, politics, theatre and music, to name but a few. The panel were impressed with the technical advancements represented by the site, but also with how easy it is to use. By making issues of urban space and historical geography so accessible, it promises to change the way that we approach the study of the capital in the eighteenth century’.
More information about the project.