A Tutorial



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Not all historians will want to create their own prosopograpbies, but many will benefit from consulting them. Not everyone is suited to creating prosopographies.
"prosopographical research is extremely hard, demanding, all-absorbing and tedious.It is a discipline that demands a huge personal investment, the principal justification for which is the benefit that we can expect and indeed obtain in return."
[J.-M. Carrié, Fifty Years of Prosopography, p. 92]

It is hoped that the exercises in the following tutorial will help you understand these issues and enable you to decide what the nature of your relationship with prosopography should be. The tutorial is divided into three parts, called steps, illustrating the second stage of prosopography. In Stages 1 and 2 you will create an Index of Names, and in Stage 3 you will create an Index of Persons.

The Tutorial is based on medieval documents written in Latin. However, since the issues raised here - the need to register all the name forms found in the sources of the group/s selected for study, preparatory to identifying the individuals among them by some form of nominal record linkage, and the problems associated with names (or lack of names) and identification - are common to all periods, a non-medievalist can also benefit from working through the exercises. English translations of the documents have been provided.

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©University of Oxford

The compilers were Dr Katharine S. B. Keats-Rohan with the assistance of Dr Olga Borymchuk and Jacquelyn Fernholz.