How many copies?Posted: 16 Jul 2015
During recent discussions in the FHISO Sources and Citation Exploratory Group, Nick Hall suggested this baptism as an instructive example:
1845, 30 Nov, Alfred son of James & Lucy Munday
This entry, numbered 123, is recorded in the parish baptism register for Abinger St James on page 16 of a bound book of printed forms.
It is likely that you would not be permitted to inspect the original register, but would be directed to a copy instead. Popular records like parish registers would deteriorate through being handled by many people. The primary concern of archives is the long term preservation of documents in their care. The archivist is not being an obstructive pain, but doing their job.
Copies offer much wider access, especially to those who cannot easily travel to the archive. However, copies are not equal, so it is important to know exactly which copy of a record you are using.
I have tracked down as many copies of this baptism record as I can find. Here is how the copies were derived:
I count 18 versions in addition to the original register. Can you find any more?
© Sue Adams 2015