Viewing posts from January, 2013

IPM Text Encoding Part 2: Indexes of people

In Part 1, I gave an overview of the process we are using to automate the structural and semantic XML markup of the IPM calendars. In this post, let's have a look at how we are dealing with the metadata about Person entities mentioned in the calendar entries.

IPM Text Encoding Part 1: Calendars

The process of digitizing the inquisition post mortem records involves the encoding of 29 volumes of text into a computer-interpretable format that provides both structural and semantic markup. We are using Extensive Markup Language (XML), and a specific vocabulary of this known as Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) P5. Encoding the data in this way allows us to identify - and make searchable - specific items of interest within each inquisition, such as:

Up and Down the Family Tree, or, Medieval Heir Hunters

Michael Hicks explores the rules of inheritance applied to some distant heirs.

Inheritance and succession

IPMs are documents concerned with the inheritance of land. That inheritance normally took place in accordance with the principles of the common law, but sometimes according to grants or settlements that were designed to modify those principles in favour of various family members. The IPMs are a very important source of information on the changing ways in which estates were settled and inherited in medieval England; equally, some appreciation of the law relating to inheritance and conveyancing is necessary for a full understanding of the documents themselves. This page provides a short introduction to these issues.