Manuscripts and Special Collections

Further reading

  • N.W. Alcock, Old Title Deeds: A Guide for Local and Family Historians, 2nd Edition (Chichester, 2001)
  • J. Cornwall, An Introduction to Reading Old Title Deeds, 2nd Edition (Birmingham, 1997)
  • A.A. Dibben, Title Deeds (Historical Association, 1990)
  • A.A. Dibben, Title Deeds, 13th-19th Centuries (London, 1968)
  • B. English and J. Saville, Strict Settlement: A Guide for Historians (Hull, 1983)
  • E. Gooder, Latin for Local Historians, 2nd Edition (London, 1978)
  • R.E. Latham (ed.), Revised Medieval Latin Word List (Oxford, 1983)
  • A.W.B. Simpson, An Introduction to the History of the Land Law, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1986)
  • E. Spring, Law, land, & family : aristocratic inheritance in England, 1300 to 1800 (London, 1993)
  • D. Stuart, Latin for Local and Family Historians (Chichester, 1995)

In recent years, projects like EEBO (Early English Books Online) and ECCO (Eighteenth Century Collections Online) have digitised copies of old books giving contemporary advice on the land law. These are now available to University of Nottingham library members through the Library Online Catalogue.

Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (published 1765-1769) is an invaluable resource for understanding the law as it was in the mid-eighteenth century, and is freely available online.

Palaeography and diplomatic skills

There are several high-quality web sites providing skills in palaeography [the study of old handwriting] and diplomatic [the physical make-up and contents of old documents]. Users may find the following useful:

English Handwriting 1500-1700: an online course [Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service]

Palaeography: reading old handwriting 1500 - 1800 [The National Archives, in partnership with the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies (SLAIS), University College London]

Medieval and Early Modern Palaeography [Dave Postles, Marc Fitch Research Fellow, University of Leicester, England] This extensive site includes background information about the land law and different types of title deeds, as well as commentaries on the handwriting and context of a wide range of old documents. The page in the Early Modern section entitled Legal Cultures is particularly useful, although not for the beginner.


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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651