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Letter: Let students see ancient records

Sir: The letter from the Duke of Norfolk and others (3 March) raises issues which extend beyond the Victoria County Histories - though completing that series (and making the data they contain available on CD-Roms affordable by students) would indeed be a worthwhile use of government or lottery money.

There are also many national historical records worthy of production in a form which would make them practically accessible to students. Some, such as Domesday Book, are already available in modern editions which could be reproduced. Many others - such as the "Rolls" series of medieval chronicles, the Complete Peerage, the Rolls of Parliament, or the full text of the Statutes of the Realm - ideally need re-editing; but failing to make the existing versions readily available in machine-readable form now simply because they are imperfect would be to allow the best to become the enemy of the good.


London, NW2