Research--old and new helping to revise or at least debate history

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One of the questions under debate is the size of the armies during the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War.

The article below describes briefly some of the methods they used to develop new theories about the size of these armies. It would be great if we could impress upon students how they historical records can be use and then re-born in a digital format--leading to new scholarship.

"Ms. Curry, the Southampton historian, said she was comfortable with something close to that lower figure, based on her reading of historical archives, including military pay records, muster rolls, ships' logs, published rosters of the wounded and dead, wartime tax levies and other surviving documents."

"And an extraordinary online database (http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/soldier/database/)listing around a quarter-million names of men who served in the Hundred Years' War, compiled by Ms. Curry and her collaborators at the universities in Southampton and Reading, shows that whatever the numbers, Henry's army really was a band of brothers: many of the soldiers were veterans who had served on multiple campaigns together."

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/world/europe/25agincourt.html

The project created three new online tools (http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/soldier/database/):

1. Muster roll database
"The online muster roll database currently holds just under 90,000 service records. These are taken from muster rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453."

muster_database.jpg

2. Protection database
The online protection and attorney database currently holds just under 20,000 records. These are taken from the treaty rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453.

3. Garrison database
The Garrison database is in draft form at present. This is in order to stress test the database, as it contains over 110,000 service records. The records are drawn from mainly French repositories and record service for the English crown, in the occupation of Normandy from 1415 - 1453.

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