Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Special Collections

Structure of the data of the Palmeston Papers Database

Arrangement of the database

The database is divided into two sections.

The first section contains summary descriptions of the Palmerston Papers. This will encompass the 16 sections of the semi-official Palmerston Papers and the family correspondence in BR22-30. These sub-divisions of the semi-official papers are as follows:

RC   Royal correspondence
GC   General correspondence, the most substantial body of papers and arranged alphabetically by correspondent
MPC   Miscellaneous and patronage correspondence
LB   Letter book
WO   War Office papers
BD   Foreign Office despatches
MM   Memoranda relating to foreign affairs
SLT   Papers on the slave trade
FO   Foreign Office papers
CAB   Cabinet papers
GMC   Papers relating to government and ministerial changes
ND   Papers on national defence
HA   Papers relating to home affairs
PRE   Material relating to the press
SP   Speeches
D   Diaries and journals


The second section is a detailed description of correspondence from the GC sequence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent:

(a) Ralph Abercrombie
(b) Sir Robert Adair
(c) Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Campbell
(d) Sir Stratford Canning
(e) Sir Augustus Foster
(f) Henry Fox, fourth Baron Holland
(g) Sir George Grey
(h) Sir Benjamin Hall
(i) Sir George Cornewall Lewis
(j) George Ponsonby
(k) Stephen Sullivan
(l) Sir Charles Vaughan

Format of a catalogue record

Within the second section, each record, effectively each description of an individual document or section of the collection, contains data arranged in the following order:

TITLE: This contains the reference number of the manuscript. This reference always begins with PP to denote Palmerston Papers. This is followed by the sequence of the papers, such as GC for General Correspondence, RC Royal Correspondence or D Diaries and Journals. For GC or RC the reference is qualified by the first two letters of the correspondent's name: for example, FO for Fox. Finally there is a unique reference number for the document. A sample reference would be #Docref=PP/GC/FO/96. It is followed by a brief note of what the document is and a date.

A typical title section will look like this:

#Docref=PP/GC/FO/96 Letter from H.E.Fox to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, thanking Palmerston for granting him leave from his post in Turin, 29 June 1833

CONTENTS: This section contains a calendar of the contents of the document. In exceptional circumstances the complete document may be transcribed, if, for example, it is already published; if it is of very great importance; or any part of it is written in pencil. In transcribing documents or extracts from them, the following conventions are employed:

All transcripts are labelled: [Transcript]

* * surround passages deleted in the original

[* *] surround deletions within deletions

\ / surround passages inserted in the original

A typical contents section looks like this:

Letter from Henry Edward Fox, [secretary of the British legation in Piedmont-Sardinia], Turin, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he thanks Palmerston for his permission for a short visit to England. Lady Augusta, however, is not currently strong enough to undertake the journey.

He had intended to write from Rome, but his private affairs and bad health entirely occupied his thoughts, and he had no opportunity of collecting any intelligence worth transmitting.

29 Jun 1833 #Adate=29/06/1833

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: A description of the physical make-up of the document is given, for example:

One paper

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES: a note is made of any published version of the document or printed work referring specifically to it. Titles of printed works are entered entirely in upper case.

INDEX TERMS: this section contains additional descriptors, each associated with the date keyed fields, to provide entries to cover concepts not defined in the contents section, occurring there with a limited date range, or expressed in a foreign language. The section is also used to express precisely names, titles, offices, etc. The terms do not form an index in the conventional sense, but are used to express concepts that would not otherwise be retrieved by free-text searching. Entries have the following form:

Henry Edward Fox, later fourth Baron Holland, secretary of the British legation in Piedmont-Sardinia #Adate=29/06/1833
Lady Augusta Mary Fox, later Baroness Holland #Adate=29/06/1833

SORTING REFERENCE: This section contains codes, entered as two keyed fields (#Srf and #Trf), which can be used for drawing together coherent groups of otherwise scattered papers, for sorting them into date order or for restricting searches. The current range of codes is listed separately. It is followed by the date in reversed form, yyyy/mm/dd, and if appropriate, a note of whether the letter (if it is a letter) was sent TO or FROM the Palmerston. A typical entry for this section would be:

#Srf=FSECCOR/1833/06/29/TO #Srf=DIPCOR/1833/06/29/TO

AVAILABILITY: the word `available' is entered in this section if the document is available for research, or `unavailable' if that is the case. The contents of this section are available to all enquirers to the database.


SPECIAL CHARACTERS: this section contains a note of all characters which it has not proved possible to input ordinarily into the database. This include accents and diacritics. The convention is that the accent or diacritic precedes the character it inflects:

/etranger; Mu~noz

Privacy Settings