London Lives has been designed to facilitate historical research on poverty, crime and illness, and on social conditions more broadly, as reflected in institutional records. While these institutions and the documents they created are explained in depth on other background pages, these Research Guides are aimed to support specific thematic enquiries on the experiences of non-elite Londoners, and to help you interpret eighteenth-century manuscripts. Each of the thematic pages includes a list of research questions and links to exemplary lives.
How to Interpret an Eighteenth-Century Manuscript
Documents as Collections of Acts, Archives as Systems, Survival, The Social Meaning of Literacy, Palaeography.
Parish, Bridewell, Guilds and Hospitals, Disputes, The Experience of Apprenticeship and After.
Examinations, Parish Support, Criminal Consequences.
The Parish, Hospitals, Coroners' Inquests.
The County and the City, The Parish, Hospitals and Guilds.
Occupations, Working Practices, Working for the Parish.
For detailed reading lists on these subjects, see the London Lives Bibliography.