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Database Methodology:

Information about Documents 

The goal of the data on documents is to be able to trace the sources of information on people and cases, which will allow other scholars to track down the primary sources used in the study. This information is split between three levels: the archive, the call number, and the page (“Document”). Almost every history begins with archives. The Archives table has an entry for each of the fourteen record offices consulted for this study. Each entry in the Archives table is given a unique primary key identifier (ArchID), lists the name and location of the archive, and assigns an abbreviation for that archive. In each record office, I read all the extant sessions papers, order books, indictments, and recognizances for the years 1642-1660, and logged each case that contained relevant crimes in the SCGV database. 

Each archive has its own structure for organizing its documents by call number. These are the unique identifiers used to call up documents in the archive. SCGV has a separate Call Numbers table which includes all the call numbers that were examined for this study. Since call numbers are stored in archives, the Call Numbers table and Archives table are linked using the ArchID. Each entry in the Call Numbers table is listed as belonging to an ArchID. Since archives contain multiple call numbers, the same ArchID is listed for every call number stored in that archive. In addition to listing its parent ArchID, every call number is given a unique primary key identifier (CallNoID). CallNoIDs reflect the organization of each archive.  Other information tracked in the Call Numbers table is the call number used by the archive, the Microfilm Number (if relevant), the type of court, the court session (i.e. Michaelmas, Easter, etc.), where the session was held, and the number of pages included in the call number.

Every page of a CallNoID that contained information about a CaseID is listed in the Documents table.  Each entry in the Documents table is given a unique primary key identifier (DocID).  Each DocID entry contains not only the DocID, but also the CallNoID to which the DocID belongs, and the CaseID of the relevant criminal case. Other information tracked in the Documents table is the date of the document, the page number, the language of the document, the name of the justice (or justices) administering the particular document, and a description of the document’s contents. The type of document is listed in the document description.

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