Reference Number Search

To facilitate searching of specific texts a unique reference identification number has been assigned to each manuscript page; each trial or other text from the Old Bailey Proceedings and Ordinary's Account; and each individual record drawn from an Additional Dataset. This search facility allows you to return to a specific page using these specfiic Reference Numbers, which are indicated at the top of every page displaying a document page or dataset entry. Only precisely rendered reference numbers will produce results. When citing documents from London Lives, you should always include this number.

Search Notes

Manuscript Reference Numbers

The reference number for each page from each manuscript document in London Lives has fifteen characters. The first six are letters, derived from assigning a two letter code to each of three attributes. The Repository, where the document is currently held (for example the Westminster Archives Centre) comes first, in this case WC. This is followed by the Archive, for instance CD for St Clement Danes parish records. This in turn is followed by the Document Type, for instance MV for Vestry Minutes. Thus, the reference number for all Vestry Minutes for the parish of St Clement Danes begin with WCCDMV. This is followed by a unique five digit document number. The parish vestry minutes for 1749-1754, Ms. B1068 in the cataloguing system used by the Westminster Archives Centre, has been assigned the number 36209. Each page image has then been numbered from the beginning of the document and assigned a four digit number. Image 44 (which does not necessarily correspond with the original folio or page number in the volume itself), has been assigned the number 0044. As a result the Reference ID for this particular page is WCCDMV362090044. Thus,

WC = depository; CD = archive; MV = document type; 36209 = unique document number; and 0044 = image number.

The vast majority of the materials coded here with GL, for the Guildhall Library, have been recently removed to the London Metropolitan Archives. This change has been reflected in the background material provided on this website, but not in the individual Reference numbers. The records of the Carpenters Company, however, remain at the Guildhall Library.

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Old Bailey and Ordinary of Newgate's Numbers

Reference numbers for material drawn from the Old Bailey Proceedings and the Ordinary of Newgate's Accounts follow the form used on the Old Bailey Online (though only material dating from 1680 to 1820 has been included here). Every trial in the Proceedings has been assigned a reference number that consists of the letter t followed by the date on which the sessions began, expressed in numbers (year, then month, then day), followed by a dash and then an individual trial number. Trials were numbered sequentially in the order in which they appeared in the Proceedings, but these numbers do not necessarily correspond with the numbering system used by the authors of the Proceedings. A typical trial reference number will take the form of t17980418-4.

If you want to view the full text of a single sessions (meeting of the court) you can search for the file name in the form of year, month, and day only. A typical sessions will take the form of 17980418 (note the absence of an initial letter).

Other types of text appearing in the Proceedings have been coded with different initial letters. Front Matter is coded with an initial f, so a typical reference for the initial pages of an issue of the Proceedings takes the form of f17980418-1. Advertisements have been coded with an a, such as a17250827-1. And finally the punishment summary information found at the end of many sessions has been coded with an initial s, taking the form of s17980418-1.

The Ordinary's Accounts have been given reference numbers starting with OA, followed by the date, in the form of year, month, and day. A typical Ordinary's Account reference nubmer takes the form of OA17100915 (note the use of capital letters).

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Additional Dataset Numbers

The Additional Datasets created by other projects have been assigned unique record IDs on the basis of a brief description, followed by a date and the unique record ID created by the original project. As these datasets take a wide variety of forms, and encode information in different ways, the reference numbers assigned to each record on this site also vary. For example, the record of the fire insurance policy that Elizabeth Thomas took out in November 1780 has been assigned the reference number fire_1775_1780_10_999, which is made up of a brief description, i.e. fire, the date from which the register begins, 1775, the year the policy was issued, 1780, the series number for this register, 10, and the original unique ID assigned by the project to this particular policy, 999. Many of these Additional Datasets were originally accessed through the Arts and Humanities Data Service. For these datasets an initial code of AHDS has been provided at the beginning of the reference number to reflect this.

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