Here is a new resource that would seem to be quite a useful tool for doing historical research.
www.connectedhistories.org brings together several important resources to search from one place. I can see how it could be used to track down records and to also fill in some background knowledge for people researching their ancestors, even though some of the records are not specifically aimed at family historians.
Including more than two billion words that have been recorded in documents ranging from the 1500s and the start of the 20th century, it has been created by the universities of Hertfordshire, London and Sheffield, taking them 18 months to complete.
While it doesn’t provide online access to any new records, it does allow a researcher to make connections
between multiple data sets that were previously only available separately. One of its good points is that it
makes it easier to track down the names and locations of people who are in records and who, previously,
would have needed to search for using keywords on the websites that it now accesses.
Connectedhistories intends to grow with a major update scheduled for later in the year when the British
Library will upload 65,000 books and thousands of 19th century pamphlets. Currently, with a single search, you gain access to… British History Online, British Museum Images, British Newspapers 1600-1900, Charles Booth Archive, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, John Strype’s Survey of London Online, London Lives 1690-1800, the Origins.net and The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online 1674-1913.
While some of the providers are subscription sites, you do get access to brief extracts from them without
needing a subscription and so this is a useful feature. I shall be looking forward to the update later in the year from Connectedhistories.org.