Archival histories are the complement of the Oral histories covered in Section 2 of this journal. Their information comes from original documentary evidence generated mostly in times beyond living memory. Of course, it is wonderful to be able to handle and refer to the original documents themselves, but for the most part our researches have to be based on copies or reproductions from history or other reference books.
However, the definition of "document" can be quite wide and might include anything from hand-written notes, letters or bills to beautiful illuminated manuscripts and maps. To this we must add the visual documentation of drawings, paintings, engravings and more recently photographs and early printed material.
In our quest we are perhaps fortunate that our forbears did like to record facts, and none more so than administrators and officials from before Doomsday right through to the modern censuses of today. It is from these rather dry lists and schedules that Julia Bowtell has drawn inspiration for her piece on the lace makers of Calverton which forms our first article in this section.
One place were you would expect to able to find good documentary evidence is in the Parish Church office. Unfortunately Calverton's local Register of Births Deaths and Marriages only goes back to the 1940's. This prompted Jan Evans to resort to what one might expect to be the most enduring form of documentary evidence - the incised inscriptions on the very gravestones themselves!
Her findings are recorded here as the only readily available reference to the monumental inscriptions for the Church of All Saints, Calverton and as such form a substantial and fitting end piece to this first issue of Calverton Records Project Journal.