Monday, March 31, 2008

Heroes of medieval historical research

Perhaps because I am teaching communism at the same time as the history of medieval England, I am minded to award to my students in HIST 3425 the heretofore unheard of award, "Heroes of Medieval Historical Research, Undergraduate Class," for unprecedented efforts in tackling the Parliamentary Rolls of Medieval England.

PROME is a wonderful resource, a CD/online searchable edition of all the medieval records of parliament from the beginning until they stopped using rolls and started using codices. By then you are well into Tudor times. Nipissing University allowed me to acquire a site license to PROME and so I was able to assign my Medieval England students an essay based on these valuable primary resources. They just finished that assignment.

They are not heroes because they did well on the assignment (how well they did is not your business) but because their diligence in research showed up on the site statistics of the online version of PROME. The publishers (see link above) noticed and wrote to their contact at the NU Library and said, who's making such substantial use of our material? (They were very pleased.) My students had beat the entire scholarly world for the month of March!

Congratulations, heroes!

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