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Domesday Book Goes Online

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the not-doomsday-that's-in-a-ghostbusters-episode dept.

100

Accommodate Students writes "The Domesday Book has gone online. As one of the earliest public records goes online, anyone with an internet connection will be able to access this important document. Amongst other interesting facts, the BBC is reporting that the Book can still be used today in court for property disputes. In an interesting development, the National Archives are making online searches free, but downloads of data will cost £3.50 (approx $6.50 US). Similar launches of historical websites in the past have struggled to keep up with server loads in their first days and weeks, so it remains to be seen whether the Domesday Book online will be more or less fragile than the parchment originals."

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Pages come with a translation (4, Informative)

Bushcat (615449) | about 8 years ago | (#15850521)

I've used this service a few times already. Each image of the original page is supplied with a translation so one can make sense of it.

Evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850534)

They've transcribed the necromonicon?

Re:Pages come with a translation (3, Funny)

mblase (200735) | about 8 years ago | (#15850739)

Each image of the original page is supplied with a translation so one can make sense of it.

Brilliant! Maybe they'll inspire the American IRS to do the same thing with the tax codes.

Re:Pages come with a translation (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15852160)

I honestly think that's impossible. I don't think even Daniel Jackson can translate those.

Dr. Strangelove (2, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 years ago | (#15850528)

Wow, I actually read two pages on the site before realizing it was DOMESday.

Re:Dr. Strangelove (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850535)

Be the first on your block to read Domesday II: World Targets in Megadeaths. Reserve your copy today!

Re:Dr. Strangelove (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850632)

You weren't too far off.

From the wikipedia article:

"When the book took the name "Domesday" (Middle English spelling of Doomsday) in the 12th century, it was to emphasize its definitiveness and authority (the analogy refers to the Christian notion of a Last Judgment)."


cool (5, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 8 years ago | (#15850530)

I have property deeds from the 16th century in what is now oxfordshire, that I found years ago in a jumble sale of all places. I can track them back even further now.

Sounds like it, anyway.

Re:cool (1)

Joebert (946227) | about 8 years ago | (#15850642)

I wouldn't dig too far, you might end up owing back taxes by the sounds of that book.

Cool! (-1, Flamebait)

Null Nihils (965047) | about 8 years ago | (#15850532)

"The Doomsday Book"!!

...oh. Domesday. Some old British survey book? Bo-ring.

I vote this the most disappointing article ever.

Re:Cool! (0, Offtopic)

User 956 (568564) | about 8 years ago | (#15850563)

"The Doomsday Book"!! ...oh. Domesday. Some old British survey book? Bo-ring.

Yeah, the Doomsday book was way cooler because Superman got killed. [wikipedia.org] And then there was like an evil robot Superman, some questionable cloning activity, and Shaquille O'Neil in a technologically-advanced suit of armor.

Re:Cool! (1)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | about 8 years ago | (#15850961)

You forgot the "angel" superman, derived from the Kryptonian Guardian.

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850566)

I vote you the biggest tool headed looser ever

Re:Cool! (5, Interesting)

NanoWires (530320) | about 8 years ago | (#15850576)

Believe it or not it does come from doomsday!! Read the Introduction to the Domesday book http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/domesday/discov er-domesday/ [nationalarchives.gov.uk]
The nickname 'Domesday' may refer to the Biblical Day of Judgement, or 'doomsday' when Christ will return to judge the living and the dead. Just as there will be no appeal on that day against his decisions, so Domesday Book has the final word - there is no appeal beyond it as evidence of legal title to land. For many centuries Domesday was regarded as the authoritative register regarding rightful possession and was used mainly for that purpose. It was called Domesday by 1180. Before that it was known as the Winchester Roll or King's Roll, and sometimes as the Book of the Treasury.

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15851624)

Your liberal facts are obstructing the truthiness of others' attempts at humor.

Re:Cool! (-1, Redundant)

GrahamCox (741991) | about 8 years ago | (#15850617)

Some old British survey book

And you, sir, are a fuckwit.

Re:Cool! (1)

greenguy (162630) | about 8 years ago | (#15850626)

I was about to say quite the opposite. Having RTFA, I suspect this will be one of the few articles in recent memory to be more interesting than the comments.

Or yours, at any rate.

Re:Cool! (1)

Null Nihils (965047) | about 8 years ago | (#15851192)

Can someone please mod the parent "+1, He Was Only Kidding"?

In seriousness, I actually found TFA interesting. Its not actually boring.

Note to self: The Internet cannot transmit innocent facetiousness.

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15851723)

You know, there's a name for that moderation. "Underrated"

great! (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | about 8 years ago | (#15850543)

Amongst other interesting facts, the BBC is reporting that the Book can still be used today in court for property disputes.

Finally I'll be able to settle my dispute with a neighbouring lord over these slaves [domesdaybook.net] I have. Peasants. I mean peasants, not slaves. Right.

Huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850579)

Topeka, Kansas, survey of who sneezed yesterday. WHO GIVES A FUCK?! It's not like some shit that happened in the US, Russia, or China, you know, the countries that matter?!

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850713)

Or Greece, Persia, India, Roman Empire. Hell, Eric the Red. It aint' like "writing" and written records started with the limey bastards. Fuck, SUMERIANS, 5 FUCKING THOUSANDS YEARS AGO, had written records.

SMMMMMMART!!!!! (1)

pikakilla (775788) | about 8 years ago | (#15850585)

"...Similar launches of historical websites in the past have struggled to keep up with server loads in their first days and weeks, so it remains to be seen whether the Domesday Book online will be more or less fragile than the parchment originals."

So lets put it on the front page of slashdot. As if that will help it out....

Re:SMMMMMMART!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850658)

Similar launches of historical websites in the past have struggled to keep up with server loads in their first days and weeks
And everyone really needs to access it immediately, we can't wait a single century longer.

Re:SMMMMMMART!!!!! (1)

jcarkeys (925469) | about 8 years ago | (#15850753)

I don't think that many people are going to view this after they realize that it is not, in fact, a book describing various methods to destroy the world and start a utopian undersea colony.

Re:SMMMMMMART!!!!! (2, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 8 years ago | (#15851307)

it is not, in fact, a book describing various methods to destroy the world and start a utopian undersea colony.
Well, I just totally wasted $6.50.

Re:SMMMMMMART!!!!! (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 8 years ago | (#15857347)

Bah, you're lucky.. I just blew 6,269.50 KRW.

Doomsday? (-1, Troll)

Mikya (901578) | about 8 years ago | (#15850608)

How could a book with such a blatent typo be "Britain's finest treasure?"

Re:Doomsday? (0)

Reverend528 (585549) | about 8 years ago | (#15850654)

Having consulted Britain's most qualified expert [wikipedia.org] on doomsdays [wikipedia.org] , he says this:

Doomsday = ((y/12)+y%12+(y%12)/4)%7+anchor

Of course, by that math, Tuesday is doomsday, and the point in time when we're all doomed. Kinda sucks to be us.

Re:Doomsday? (1)

Mikya (901578) | about 8 years ago | (#15850686)

Well fuck me!

Re:Doomsday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850863)

Mikya? Is that a guys or girls name?

Oh, well, I guess it doesn't really matter, I would like to take you up on your offer.

Re:Doomsday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850661)

It's spelled "blatant", asshat.

HUH? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850634)

Topeka, Kansas, survey of who sneezed yesterday. WHO GIVES A FUCK?! It's not like some shit that happened in the US, Russia, or China, you know, the countries that matter?!

Re:HUH? (2, Insightful)

nickco3 (220146) | about 8 years ago | (#15851878)

Welcome to the 21st century, where Russia's economy is smaller than Belgium's.

This is an outrage! (4, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 8 years ago | (#15850657)

Putting public records online... Think of the privacy issues! Phishers and identity thieves will have a heyday!

Re:This is an outrage! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850740)

That's fishers who will have a heyday! They'll know which ponds have the most eels!

Re:This is an outrage! (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 8 years ago | (#15853732)

I know! Just the other day my great great great great grandfather was complaining about his identity being stolen! WHERE WILL IT END?!

Old tech vs new (5, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 8 years ago | (#15850742)

Interesting that the original domesday book is still useful for territorial disputes almost a thousand years after it was written, but that the domesday project [atsf.co.uk] , a modern equivalent on laserdisk is no longer readable roughly 20 years after introduction.

Even though later on, an effort was made to port to the PC [domesday1986.com] it reminds us just how ephemeral modern information is. If a year is a long time in politics, a decade is an eternity in computing tech.

Open standards (and not closed or proprietary document formats) are the only weapon we have against a "digital dark ages" descending on us. There are already files I have from my early computing days (written to an Exabyte tape in a non-standard dump-format) that I can't read. My PhD thesis is out-of-bounds in digital form, unless I get a used DECstation from ebay...

Just food for thought...

Re:Old tech vs new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850899)

Timeline:

Floppy (stored in a safe place) ->

Floppy and CD (stored in a safe place) ->

3x CD -> (2 in your safety deposit box) ->

2 DVD + 3 CD (2 ea. in the safety deposit box) rest on the HD ->

1 120GB HD + 1 floppy + 2 DVD + 2 CD (in the safety deposit box)

Move to a different coast:
Pics + printouts of important information (in the safety deposit box) (When you get to it)
Everything else is shredded. HD goes to the kid.

Your personal data isn't worth that .2 TB. Business, yes, you - 500kB is sufficient.

Re:Old tech vs new (2, Interesting)

plover (150551) | about 8 years ago | (#15850925)

Yeah, this story made me wonder if anyone from the future would ever care about our "Domesday Wiki."

Re:Old tech vs new (1)

Kamineko (851857) | about 8 years ago | (#15850953)

File formats are one thing, but you mentioned the laserdisc there.

Is that a problem with the format, or has the laserdisc just melted into nothing?

Folks oft bring up the problem of 'disc rot' when Ask Slashdot cycles round to its 'what's a good backup solution' season, (although I've never personally observed it, my discs are all swank-tastic. JINX! I know!), but eventually this stuff is going to be destroyed somehow.

Remember that bit in The Time Machine where the books crumble to dust? Unless we invent our own 'spinning rings', or holographic guy-with-attitude, then it's all for naught.

(Whether the human existence would all be for naught if our past is lost to time is philosophical matter, (or possibly an ecumeical matter [ytmnd.com] )

Re:Old tech vs new (2, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 8 years ago | (#15851035)

It's actually a proprietary format on the laserdisk as well - I don't know if laserdisks (weren't they analogue ?) ever had a standard format like CDROM's do. I think it was more along the lines of "format it for this machine, and only this machine can read it".

Now that the machine is vanished into the history books, the data is unreadable (or was, until they ported it to the PC, but I believe that took a *lot* of effort, and who's to say that in 20 years, the PC will still be around in it's current form ?

Simon

Re:Old tech vs new (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 8 years ago | (#15851614)

the problem was the video footage - its all analogue and the masters are stored of some archaic tape format that no one at the BBC knows how to read anymore.

extracting the text data is a doddle, but the video is fast degrading and the only copyable copys are not 1st generation.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15851704)

mpu

Re:Old tech vs new (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | about 8 years ago | (#15850958)

Excellent point. The solution? Distribute freely and as widely as possible.

Re:Old tech vs new (4, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | about 8 years ago | (#15851638)

The 1980s Domesday Project is available online - it's still perfectly readable.
The biggest problem with getting the Domesday Project online was *not* reading the data - it was COPYRIGHTS (and finding all the copyright holders down to get permission).

You can use the 1986 Domesday project here: http://www.domesday1986.com/ [domesday1986.com]

Re:Old tech vs new (2, Informative)

vidarh (309115) | about 8 years ago | (#15851949)

Interestingly I can't get at it.... Maybe I'm missing a plugin or maybe the site is experiencing problems, but I only get a blank window. If anything that illustrates the problems of digital versions nicely. Though it may be possible for me to get at it with another browser etc. - access to it certainly is more brittle and will require ongoing maintenance.

Re:Old tech vs new (2, Informative)

leenks (906881) | about 8 years ago | (#15852146)

No, it just proves that the BBC who didn't keep any records of Copyright were unable to archive the material properly, and now you have only a couple of portals in which to view the original data (coming from the original disks via an emulator / translator of some kind no doubt). Paper/parchment needs archiving too, it is just that the digital equivalent is somewhat more difficult and there are no surviving copyrights. I suspect that the digital version will be widely distributed in future years when copyright expires.

The digital version was somewhat different to the original anyway - it had photographs, drawings, audio, and (most importantly) video. We could archive that on paper (if we knew the Copyright holders), but I think the cost of a suitable facility to preserve it might be prohibitive.

Personally, I think the British Government should step in and waive all Copyright holders rights to the digital version. After all, people knew what they were getting into with the project and its implications.

Re:Old tech vs new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15855539)

It's been broken for months. It has a photo of my brother's house that I've tried to show him a few times, but the site's never up.

All your land records are belong to us (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850752)

Well, SOMEONE had to say it.

Of course it's more durable! (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | about 8 years ago | (#15850782)

it remains to be seen whether the Domesday Book online will be more or less fragile than the parchment originals."

That's a joke, but it demonstrates a principle of digital information that people have not gotten used to yet.

The first time someone gets a copy of the original, the document will have doubled it's durability. If they really liberate it, they will immortalize it and greatly reduce the cost of distributing it. "Protecting" something you want to publish reduces it's chance of survival. This is not special to electronic publishing.

What's different is the cheapness of sharing and that removes the need to protect publications. Once upon a time, people chained books to their shelves because that book took a substantial fraction of someones' life to make or copy and there were very few coppies. Today, the contents can be duplicated without special material in the blink of an eye, unless there's some nasty DRM stuck on it. DRM makes it difficult for the honest user to read and impossible to copy. Chains are no longer required and making digital information more difficult to work with than what it replaces is perverse.

ROFLMAO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850842)

Good lord willy, I absolutely love these retarded, offtopic, karma-whoring "evangelization" rants of yours. Do you really believe everyone here is 15 years old?

Re:ROFLMAO (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#15852173)

Good lord, I absolutely love those retarded, offtopic, Slashdot-stalking "twitter sucks" rants of yours. Do you really believe everyone here has an IQ of 15?

Re:Of course it's more durable! (1)

vidarh (309115) | about 8 years ago | (#15851933)

It's only more durable if people keep making copies. The problem with digital copies is that technology quickly moves on and makes it hard to read old data - NASA for instance struggles with keeping up with this, losing vast amounts of data beause their inability to get at it while there's still working equipment isn't good enough - even if something is widely spread, the question is who keeps a copy and ensures they keep a copy in a safe way?

Domesday is likely to survive in digital form for a long time, but only because it is still of historical interest. The individual electronic copies are certainly far likely to get destroyed than the original. It is likely to be durable only because the number of copies is larger - make the same number of copies on vellum and spread them as widely as the electronic copies, and the vellum copies will easily outlast the electronic records by thousands of years.

For something like the Domesday book the question isn't that important - it's clear it will survive. But the overall question is important: Never before in human history has so large a percentage of the records produced been destroyed on such a regular basis, not on purpose, but due to accident, mistakes or lack of action. Personally I have folders and folders of printouts of documents I produced years ago where I've lost the digital copies (some of them were originally stored on 5"1/4 floppies, some on 3.5" for my Amiga, some on a long crashed 8 bit XT interface harddisk. That's records between 10-20 years old. None of them will matter much to other people than me (unless I get famous later in my life - you never know...) but they would've been lost if I wasn't so bad at throwing things out and happen to have tons of old copies on paper.

Future historians are likely to see this time as a dark age for history, in that more and more records are electronic only and will perish - while they will have a lot of data telling them what we and people in the intervening generations jointly thought important, there will be gaping holes of things that people didn't think important enough to make proper arrangements for. And that does not mean backups, because backups only protect you against short term loss, not against loss of data that nobody thought was important for 20, 50 or 200 years.

Re:Of course it's more durable! (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 8 years ago | (#15854928)

About the only way I know of to preserve content for long periods of time is to etch the information in clearly legible plain text on gold tablets. This can be done microscopically, but the issue is the same: Find some medium to perserve the data that avoids technology obsolecense.

The only problem with this strategy (and it is something that has been used for thousands of years in the past with great success), is that sometimes the gold itself as bullion is more valuable than the information it contains. That certainly was the case for the Spanish, who melted down thousands of years worth of history into coins and shipped them to Spain, only to have a significant portion of that sink to the bottom of the Carribian due to storms and piracy.

If you can solve that dual issue of making a recording medium that is both incredibly durable and worthless except as a data storage device, you have something useful to contribute to history in a huge way. Price is not as huge of an issue as simply being able to withstand water damage and biological consumption.

Gold does a pretty good job on both of these issues, and has the added bonus of not requiring a high technology level in order to manufacture it. I havn't unfortunately found a modern composite material other than perhaps some exotic ceramics that might fill the same niche. Of course ceramics were also used in the past to preserve records (notably by the Sumerians and Babylonians). Ceramic tablets do suffer from issues of bulkiness, but perhaps some way to make them both thin and durable could be made?

Long Long Long-Term Storage (1)

some guy I know (229718) | about 8 years ago | (#15863313)

About the only way I know of to preserve content for long periods of time is to etch the information in clearly legible plain text on gold tablets. [...] The only problem with this strategy [...] is that sometimes the gold itself as bullion is more valuable than the information it contains.
Nickel or nickel alloys can be used, which are less intrinsically valuable (although any material, especially metal, has some intrinsic value).
Here are two [svensk.info] companies [norsam.com] that micro-etch information onto nickel or nickel alloys.
You can also try carving stone tablets [canonical.org] .

Re:Long Long Long-Term Storage (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 8 years ago | (#15875584)

Thanks for the information. This is certainly an improvement over pure gold tablets, but it does require some more advanced metalugical skills to put stuff like this together. Still, if you were to try and preserve important documents for substantial periods of time, this is the way to go.

I love the comment on the durible.info site that suggests a document lifetime of over a million years... surviving an ice age or two. That is document preservation!

Now to find something worth doing this sort of presevation effort. (Yeah, I can think of something or two).

Re:Of course it's more durable! (1)

vodkamattvt (819309) | about 8 years ago | (#15852643)

Someone has read http://www.free-culture.cc/ [free-culture.cc] the book by Lawrence Lessig?

WTF!!?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850783)

Topeka, Kansas, survey of who sneezed yesterday. WHO GIVES A FUCK?! It's not like some shit that happened in the US, Russia, or China, you know, the countries that matter?! Eh!!??

Re:WTF!!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850975)

Topeka, Kansas, survey of who sneezed yesterday. WHO GIVES A FUCK?! It's not like some shit that happened in the US, Russia, or China, you know, the countries that matter?! Eh!!??

Fuck yeah! I wish all these people would just burn all the fucking archives! I hate school. I hate everyone. I wish I had a girlfriend.

Any chicks here want to hook up??

Re:WTF!!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15851197)

America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!
Freedom is the only way yeah,

i think i drank too much (0)

uglydog (944971) | about 8 years ago | (#15850798)

Is that a picture of the Wright brothers' plane [nationalarchives.gov.uk] on the UK National Archives website?

Memories. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850864)

No, it's actually a picture of me posing with my tweedle in your mother's twatchamat. Oddly enough, that photo was taken approximately nine months before you were born.. but before you jump to any conclusions, my twinklesticker always found a way into your mother's anussalhacker, and never anywhere else: "oops! this actually works out well, because I accidentally tossed that prophilectaloid over my shoulder after I snapped it and said it was on! chuckle!".

Re:i think i drank too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15850905)

Nah, looks more advanced than that - WWI fighter perhaps.

Re:i think i drank too much (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15851364)

Hard to tell from that picture, but If I were compeled to put money on it I'd go with the Sopwith Pup. The plane is historically significant because it was the first to land on a ship. It's distinguishable from the Camel at low res/great distance because the Camel had a considerable amount of dihedral on the lower wing.

And except for the minor details of being underpowered and underarmed the Pup was perhaps the best all around plane of the war. The Camel scared (and killed) its own pilots, the Pup was universally adored.

KFG

Doomsday? (1)

CompotatoJ (848808) | about 8 years ago | (#15850825)

Was I the only one who thought that some religious cult made an e-book predicting the end of the world?

Re:Doomsday? (1)

chawly (750383) | about 8 years ago | (#15851029)

Yes ! You ignorant clod, you.

Bloomsday Book (1)

Futaba-chan (541818) | about 8 years ago | (#15850838)

In related news, the Bloomsday Book is also online, and can be found here [gutenberg.org] ....

property (5, Interesting)

denidoom (865832) | about 8 years ago | (#15850895)

I wonder who would gain from a property dispute? the Black Plague in the 14th century devestated the English population and as a result a lot of peasants became landowners themselves. They were able to negotiate these land deals because basically there weren't many laborers left to work the land and the lords were desperate, so they gave the peasants land in exchange for labor. In fact things were really rearranged quite a bit at that time (14th C) regarding property. I am unsure how anyone could prove a valid claim -they would have to do some serious researching into the following centuries proving the land wasn't legitimately sold or transferred.

Re:property (4, Informative)

niktemadur (793971) | about 8 years ago | (#15851112)

Please mod this guy up, he's got one helluva point.

At least a quarter of the population was directly killed by the Plague within a six year span. As noted, this was bound to jumble and reassemble the social structure in a major way, a process that probably lasted for decades.

However, a bit of speculation: Many land-owning families must have been wiped clean off the face of the Earth, many others would probably have migrated elsewhere, London perhaps, in an attempt to find better fortunes. It's entirely possible that the canniest survivors took advantage of the chaos, changing their names overnight, becoming 'cousins' to the less fortunate families, claiming title to their lands. In this manner, the names would remain the same, albeit under false pretenses. So maybe the property structure was kept more intact than we might suppose at face value.

Re:property (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | about 8 years ago | (#15851176)

I'd imagine it'd more useful to dispute land boundaries, i.e. who owns that strip of land between us. Assuming there are no other more recent records, an entry there would probably be acceptable in court as evidence of which house owned it.

Fascinating, on two levels. (0)

niktemadur (793971) | about 8 years ago | (#15851016)

First off, what an incredible document, it has that whole Voynich Manuscript mystique to it. I'll be sure peruse deeper once the Slashdot Effect settles down a bit. I'll be a good cybercitizen today.

Secondly, Domesday is a word I've never encountered before, so that my brain filled in automatically with the second 'o' and erased the 'e', so as to spell Doomsday. It's a neat trick, and from what I'm reading in this thread, most of us fell for it. There you have it, the power of the brain in action.

Re:Fascinating, on two levels. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 8 years ago | (#15851323)

Secondly, Domesday is a word I've never encountered before, so that my brain filled in automatically with the second 'o' and erased the 'e', so as to spell Doomsday. It's a neat trick, and from what I'm reading in this thread, most of us fell for it. There you have it, the power of the brain in action.
Actually, from what I know (admittedly not much, but I think Wikipedia is on my side here) that's not a bad interpretation. Domesday is some sort of Middle/Old English word that means pretty close to "Doomsday" in today's language.

Apparently the name comes from the fact that it was considered to be an ultimate, inviolate reference for use in property disputes and other things of that nature; hence the 'Doomsday' reference is an allusion to the second coming of Christ, the ultimate reckoning or judgement. I wonder whether the name was at all meant to be humorous or ironic when initially coined, or if it was serious.

Anyway, the WP article is pretty good reading (I just wasted a good 15 minutes of my life on it):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesday_Book#Subsequ ent_history [wikipedia.org]

Re:Fascinating, on two levels. (1)

aggiefalcon01 (730238) | about 8 years ago | (#15870070)

There you have it, the deceptive power of the brain in action.
Fixt.
There you have it, the illusionary power of the brain in action.
Runner-up.

Parchment vs Online (2, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 8 years ago | (#15851178)

so it remains to be seen whether the Domesday Book online will be more or less fragile than the parchment originals."

More fragile. The parchment, if properly stored in a cool, dark, dry place (which is easy to do and requires very little technology - almost none, actually) will last another 1000 years. I seriously doubt ANYTHING online will be around in 1000 years. I doubt we will have electricity in 1000 years.

RS

Re:Parchment vs Online (1)

Null Nihils (965047) | about 8 years ago | (#15851231)

"so it remains to be seen whether the Domesday Book online will be more or less fragile than the parchment originals."

More fragile. The parchment, if properly stored in a cool, dark, dry place (which is easy to do and requires very little technology - almost none, actually) will last another 1000 years. I seriously doubt ANYTHING online will be around in 1000 years. I doubt we will have electricity in 1000 years.
Or the parchment could be destroyed in a fire tomorrow, while the digital version gets spread over a P2P network, to be replicated across the globe for as long as mankind has the requisite technology to view and reproduce the document in whatever form it is stored.

I think the argument over which medium keeps information (be it writing, photos, music, etc) accessible the longest depends on a lot of probabilities. What is the likelihood that a global catastrophe (ie. DOOMSDAY, har har) will take the world permanently offline, erasing the information? Conversely, what is the likelihood that dead-tree copies will get destroyed by accident or the elements?

Note that sealing a paper document somewhere hard to access defeats the purpose somewhat, because it can't be accessed when desired, and when it does get uncovered in the future it may not be recognized and valued by whoever finds it.

Re:Parchment vs Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15851609)

I doubt your opinion will be survive serious consideration for 1000 milliseconds.

Re:Parchment vs Online (1)

thevoices (993384) | about 8 years ago | (#15851825)

I understand the doomsday book to be vellum, not parchment. (Tanned calf skin, not cellulose). Which means that barring deliberate destruction it will probably outlast the castle that its housed in.

Vellum is basically inert, and suffers damage only from external sources. Parchment will degrade naturally over time, even when kept in a managed environment.

Re:Parchment vs Online (1)

chgros (690878) | about 8 years ago | (#15853757)

vellum, not parchment. (Tanned calf skin, not cellulose)
I think you got it wrong. parchment [wikipedia.org] is tanned skin, vellum [wikipedia.org] can be made of cellulose (but is orginally parchment)

Re:Parchment vs Online (1)

thevoices (993384) | about 8 years ago | (#15857189)

Unbelievable.

I spend three years studying the middle ages, get my degree, and then promptly forget what the sources I studied were actually recorded on. Sheesh.

Modern reprints (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 8 years ago | (#15851965)

Nothing, except costs, stops someone from making multiple modern ink-on-sheepskin reprints and storing them in environmentally-archival locations around the world.

Personally, I think society owes it to the future to make such repositories, holding 10,000-year-archives of the worlds most important ancient documents and keeping them safe from the end of the human race.

While they are at it, throw in some modern-day Rosetta Stone equivalents.

Copyright on millenia-old documents (1)

jiawen (693693) | about 8 years ago | (#15851321)

Domesday, like the Bayeux Tapestry, seems to me like it should be in the public domain. It's a cultural treasure of the whole world, right? But the photographs of it are all modern, so they're protected by copyright, and the governments holding the documents keep them under strict lock and key so you can't take your own photos, and therefore the documents stay out of public ownership. Is my analysis of the legalities correct? If so, is there any way out of this conundrum?

Solution to that... (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 8 years ago | (#15851976)

Easy: Buy access to the photographs, then reproduce the text.

Hard: Buy access to the highest-resolution-possible version of the photographs, then hire an expert reproduction-artist/legitimate-forger to "redraw" each page onto similar materials.

It's my understanding such facscimilie reproductions are already widely available and predate this project.

Remember, not everyone needs access to a high-resolution copy. Most of us are fine with either just the text or a cheap facscimilie.

Re:Copyright on millenia-old documents (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | about 8 years ago | (#15852071)

No, the photgraphs are not protected and completely in the public domain. The reason is that they are two-dimensional reproductions of an ancient document. The same goes for old paintings. Nobody gains a copyright from copying public domain material.

I personally find it despicable that they want to charge people for access, and if they have any kind of DRM, I hope they all go to hell.

Re:Copyright on millenia-old documents (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 8 years ago | (#15852363)

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeman_Art_Library _v._Corel_Corp [wikipedia.org] . - at least in the US, a photograph of a public domain image cannot be copyrighted.

Having said that, I'm curious what the situation is in the UK. For example, I'm sure I remember seeing things like "Crown Copyright" on reproductions in museums, even when the original must surely have been out of copyright.

Re:Copyright on millenia-old documents (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 8 years ago | (#15853556)

As I understand it, in the UK, the photographer owns the copyright to the photographs they take. However, that doesn't stop someone else going and taking an identical photo of the same thing.

pay ??? (5, Insightful)

madhippy (525384) | about 8 years ago | (#15851343)

what annoys me is that whenever the British government/local government or other British institutions put this sort of information online here in the UK - they expect to be able to charge for it (our taxes paid for the running of these institutions etc) ...

compare that to the way the US gov./institutions tends to free up information ... imagine paying to download nasa/hubble images !!

(tho sometimes US orgs tend to go a bit too far - eg Americas Army)

Mod parent up! deep disappointment! Not free! (1)

fantomas (94850) | about 8 years ago | (#15851454)

Indeed, mod parent up. So you get really excited and go to the National archives and type in the name of your city/town/village to see what was going on there a thousand years ago - it returns half a dozen searches - saying yes yes yes we've got information about these people/places, here's one line of introductory text, you click on any of them, and it says "3.50 pounds before you can see anything please". Deeply disappointing. See nothing unless you pay us 3.50 (that about 5 dollars I think). Heck, at least let us see the first one for free or something.

Re:pay ??? (1)

dunstan (97493) | about 8 years ago | (#15851555)

I don't have a problem with that - I wouldn't expect it to be PPV forever, I bet that in a year or two they will drop the price and eventually make access free. I'd rather have it online (probably achieved at considerable cost - it's not just a load of page scans, it's indexed) with a price tag than not online.

The records of parliament and my local councils are readable and searchable online for free, which is what bothers me more.

Re:pay ??? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | about 8 years ago | (#15851894)

"(tho sometimes US orgs tend to go a bit too far - eg Americas Army)"

Oh, c'mon. You think Syria and Iran are too far?

Re:pay ??? (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | about 8 years ago | (#15852088)

Exactly. There is however stopping people from sharing their downloads, making their own archive, as long as they don't include new work like commentaries or translations.

Re:pay ??? (1)

bahwi (43111) | about 8 years ago | (#15852108)

Bah, it's close to the same. We have to pay for everything else. Want to use the road that your taxes paid for? Sure thing, we call it a "toll" road, so pay up again. Want to have a swim at the public pool(not really, no, but...) $2 adult, $1 kids, oh, and we'll be raising property taxes because the pool needs more maintenance anyways.

Re:pay ??? (1)

OldBus (596183) | about 8 years ago | (#15853812)

But the point is that your taxes are not paying the full cost of the Domesday book going online. Just as our taxes don't cover the full cost of prescriptions so that a lot of us have to pay for them, despite the NHS getting a lot of tax money. If you don't like it that's OK: write to your MP. It could be made free (like the major museums) - they could redirect tax money or lottery money from somewhere else to pay for it, or could raise taxes to cover stuff like this. However, it has to be paid for and our taxes are currently not covering the full cost.

Re:pay ??? (1)

ngibbins (88512) | about 8 years ago | (#15856076)

what annoys me is that whenever the British government/local government or other British institutions put this sort of information online here in the UK - they expect to be able to charge for it (our taxes paid for the running of these institutions etc) ...

This is a consequence of the decision to devolve the management of certain parts of government and give them what is known as trading fund status. Effectively, these have different financial arrangements to other parts of government. To quote from here [ordnancesurvey.co.uk] :

Each is an arms-length trading organisation but with a duty to observe specific financial targets set by the Treasury and involving capital returns, borrowing and transparency of reporting. They must also deliver quality standards and fitness for purpose in their products and services within government policy.

The best-known example of a trading fund (some might say most notorious) is Ordnance Survey, the UK mapping agency.

What about the -NEW- Doomsdat Book? (1)

ivi (126837) | about 8 years ago | (#15851572)

Wasn't there a 2-video-disk electronic, multimedia doomsday book...
a bit like the Foxfire Series of books (in that people went out
into their communities to gather the content - photos, songs -
on paper or tape - etc.?

Is the new version on-line?

If not now, when? :-/

Why so long? (1)

David Off (101038) | about 8 years ago | (#15852548)

What I don't understand is why this had taken so long. Andrew Ford, in his book Spinning the Web [amazon.com] published in 1994 said that he got his experience of building websites from a project with the British Library to put the Domesday book online. If so, then the Electronic Domesday book has taken longer to complete than the original.

Google Maps (1)

spudnic (32107) | about 8 years ago | (#15852658)

So have the properties been encoded for Google maps yet?

Essential and timeless questions (1)

OneoFamillion (968420) | about 8 years ago | (#15854810)

The questions asked can be summarised as follows:

1. What is the manorglossary icon called?
2. Who held it in the time of King Edward?
3. Who holds it now?
4. How many hides are there?
5. How many ploughglossary icons on the demesneglossary icon and among the men?
6. How many free men, sokemenglossary icon, villans, cottarsglossary icon, slavesglossary icon?
7. How much woodland, meadow, pasture, mills, fisheries?
8. How much has been added to or taken away from the manor?
9. How much was the whole worth and how much now?
10. How much had or has each freeman and each sokeman?
11. Are you, or is a person you are closely acquainted with, a witch?
12. What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?

Re:Essential and timeless questions (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | about 8 years ago | (#15859833)

I take it upon myself to answer your queries. (1)-(10) What are you smokin, glossary icon indeed. 11. Are you, or is a person you are closely acquainted with, a witch?
She prefers wiccan, you insensitive clod. 12. What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?

African or European?

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