Project Profile:

Documents of Early England Data Set (DEEDS)


Description: The DEEDS Research Project was founded in 1975 by Michael Gervers, professor of History of the University of Toronto, to create a database of information culled from medieval property exchange documents which would be of interest to social and economic historians.

The DEEDS corpus, as of March 2016, consisted of 44,400 medieval charters. 41,000 of the charters are in Latin. The charters are from the British Isles, France and German-speaking Europe. Additional medieval charters are being added continuously.

The objectives of the Project are to provide a sufficient corpus of medieval Latin charters to identify common chronological, geographical, social, diplomatic and economic trends over time, in particular in England from the ninth through thirteenth centuries; To provide a mechanism for applying a statistically valid date to individual documents of uncertain chronological origin; to provide a statistically generated means of identifying the geographical region, and possibly even the scriptorium from which a document came; to identify individual scribes using linguistic and statistical techniques; to establish a consistent mark-up system for distinguishing the diplomatic parts of a document and to identify relationships between people, landed property and things; to provide an on-line concordance-type search mechanism for:


  • Michael Gervers, Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Michael Margolin
  • Gelila Tilahun

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