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Electronic bookshelf or electronic library? An examination of the medieval and early modern data bank

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Touwen, Jeroen

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Abstract This article attempts to illustrate the use of computer databanks in history by examining the Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank (MEMDB). The Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank, of which both an on-line version and a CD-ROM are under construction, will contain an expanding collection of historical monetary, price and wage data, concentrating on the geographical area of the Low Countries, France, England and north-west Germany in the period 800-1800. MEMDB has European offices in Leiden and Brussels. Since 1988 MEMDB offers a PC-prototype which contains 13,256 medieval currency exchange rate quotations. The article observes from a number of different angles the choices and decisions that were made by MEMDB. It relates to questions concerning the theoretical requirements and limitations of historical data banks and examines in which way MEMDB has dealt with these problems.
Keywords modern times; middle ages; data bank; science of history
Classification Information and Documentation, Libraries, Archives
Method descriptive study
Document language English
Publication Year 1993
Page/Pages p. 213-229
Journal Historical Social Research, 18 (1993) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works