The Bristol Historical Databases Project produced a number of machine-readable sets; these are supplemented on this CD by additional datasets.

1. Instructions for use

2. Bibliography of Bristol and Bath

3. Bristol Business Archives

4. Guide to the Port of Bristol Archives

5. Bristol Obituaries, 1871-1921

6. Abstracts of Bristol Historical Statistics

7. Bristol Poll Books, 1722 and 1774

8. Avon County Council Elections

9. Notes on Bristol City Council Financial Statistics

10. Bristol Probate Inventories

11. Four commercial directories for the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries

12. Members of the Society of Merchant Venturers to 1972

13. Voluntary Contribution (1799)

1. Instructions for use:

Some of the datasets listed below are provided in ASCII format. These can be opened by a word-processing application such as WORD, WORDPERFECT, or even NOTEPAD. As ASCII delimited files they can also be imported into a spreadsheet application such as EXCEL or QUATTRO PRO.

Some of the datasets listed below are provided in IDEALIST. These can be found in both the subject folder and in a separate IDEALIST folder.

NB: IDEALIST files will not work on a MAC - they require a PC which operates with a Microsoft-type operating system.

2. Bibliography of Bristol and Bath

This dataset contains reference to nearly 4,500 books, articles, series and theses for the South West region. This has proved an extremely powerful research tool for both research and teaching, and is the most authoritative source of post-1911 secondary sources for the Bristol region.

The Bibliography is provided in different formats: EXCEL, QUATTRO PRO and IDEALIST.

3. Bristol Business Archives

This dataset forms a compendium of extant business archives in the Bristol region. All the information in the dataset has been taken from the publication Business in Avon and Somerset: A Survey of Archives edited by Jennifer Green, Philip Ollerenshaw and Peter Wardley, a few copies of which are still available at £11.50 (inclusive of postage and packing).

The work is based on the detailed investigations of Jennifer Green who was able to amass data on archival sources for a range of organisations, including company, trade union, and professional bodies. The sources are broken down into a variety of categories, incorporating financial, production, and corporate sections, and includes a category dedicated to extant photographs and film.

Many organisations mentioned in the database are given a detailed history, which, by itself, provides a unique and fascinating compendium of corporate biographies for the Bristol region. Thus the dataset will interest not only those who have an interest in company history per se, but should be of use to anyone with a passion for the long neglected industrial development of a rich urban environment.

4. Guide to the Port of Bristol Archives

The Port of Bristol was in Council ownership from 1848 until 1991 and the entire archive of the port and a wide range of material from the Bristol Dock Company was given to the Bristol Record Office by the Port of Bristol Authority before privatisation. A small portion of the material has been archived but the collection remains largely unlisted.

Thus this dataset remains the only available catalogue of this valuable source. The dataset has been produced by Kieran Kelly with the support of a bursary from the Business Archives Council, and consists of 875 records, including Port of Bristol accounts, general reports, correspondence, details of extant maps and plans, and the content of archived film rolls. A number of pictures from the City Museum and Art Gallery are also included. Together with these Kieran has also included a bibliography of relevant secondary sources which refer directly to the Port of Bristol, thus augmenting the comprehensive nature of the dataset as a research tool.

5. Bristol Obituaries, 1871-1921

This dataset contains information on 569 obituaries and wills for the period 1871 to 1921. The Western Daily Press is the source for this information, which includes obituaries for some of the city's most notable citizens, including W. H. Wills, Lewis Fry and Mark Whitwill.

6. Abstracts of Bristol Historical Statistics

The Project published fourth Abstracts of Bristol Historical Statistics:

Part 1: Poor Law Statistics, 1835-1948, pp. xxx, 31, ISBN 1 86043 114 3.
Part 2: Unemployment Statistics, 1910-1997, pp. xxviii, 26, ISBN 186043 115 1.
Part 3: Representation in Bristol's Elections, 1700-1997, pp. xxviii, 240, ISBN 186043 113 5,
Part 4: Health Statistics, 1838-1995, pp. xlvi, 32, ISBN 1 86043 114 3.

For each Abstract, both the introduction and the datasets appear elsewhere on this CD.

7. Bristol Poll Books, 1722 and 1774

This CD provides two poll books for the city of Bristol have been placed into machine-readable form, that for the General Elections of 1722 and 1774. Each gives details of those who voted in each election, including their name, occupation and address

Bristol Poll Book (1722).

The 1722 Poll Book records votes for 3,577 individual voters at this contested election.

Bristol Poll Book (1774)

The Poll Book for the election of 1774 election, fought between Henry Cruger, Edmund Burke, Matthew Brickdale and Lord Clare, records 5,382 individual electors.

NOTE: This CD also provides a PowerPoint demonstration, The Hotly Contested Bristol election of 1774, which outlines the campaign, day by day, and provides the results of this highly prominent parliamentary contest. Bristol's election had national significance because Cruger and Burke were known to be advocates of the cause of the north American colonists. The election coincided with the national crisis as relations between Westminster and the Americans broke down; this was to be followed by the Revolutionary War and, eventually, the Declaration of Independence.

The Hotly Contested Bristol election of 1774, a Powerpoint presentation appears as:


The statistical information which informs this appears as:

Bristol Election 1774.xls

8. Avon County Council Elections

Bristol's elected representatives to Avon County Council.

9. Notes on Bristol City Council Financial Statistics

This dataset contains a variety of statistics which were extracted from the Annual Report, Epitome and General Statistics of the City’s Accounts and the City Treasurer’s Report.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to trace the reports for every year and this has resulted in a number of gaps in the statistics. This is compounded by the fact that the format of the reports changed a number of times, resulting in the cessation of some series of statistics and the introduction of others. Furthermore, in some cases data has been published retrospectively, but only for certain “milestone” years.

The majority of the statistics are for the year to 31 March and cover the period up to the implementation of the local government reforms which resulted in the abolition of the county of Bristol on 31 March 1974.

The dataset is presented as a single Corel Quattro Pro file which contains all the statistics and also as a set of Microsoft Excel files, each of which contains a single set of data.

The statistics included in the dataset are:-

General Statistics 1923-24 to 1973-74: brief details of area, population, rates and loans

Number of Employees 1953-54 to 1973-74: weekly-paid and monthly-paid employees in each department

Salaries, Wages, Superannuation, etc. 1953-54 to 1973-74: salaries, wages and superannuation in each department

Income and Expenditure 1939-40 to 1973-74: sources of income and total expenditure

Rating Statistics 1939-40 to 1973-74: income, losses on collection, etc.

Rate Expenditure 1926-27 to 1950-51: how each pound raised was spent

Classification of Hereditaments Comprising the Valuation List 1930 to 1973: number of premises in each category and their total rateable values

Housing Statistics 1939-40 to 1973-74: income, expenditure and number of houses owned by the council

Advances for House Purchase and Repairs 1949-50 to 1973-74: mortgage advances, redemptions and repayments

Dwellings Constructed 1950-51 to 1973-74: numbers and types of accommodation constructed

Growth in the Loan Debt of the Corporation 1914-15 to 1973-74: portion of the loan debt attributable to each department

Capital Outlay 1950-51 to 1973-74: annual capital outlay of each department

Total Capital Outlay 1954-55 to 1973-74: cumulative capital outlay of each department

Motor Licence Statistics 1947-48 to 1973-74: vehicles registered, licences issued and revenue raised

Airport Statistics 1965 to 1973: traffic levels, income and expenditure

Docks Statistics 1967-68 to 1973-74: income and expenditure

Bristol City Council: financial and other datasets.

10 Bristol Probate Inventories

By kind permission of Edwin George and the two record societies concerned, this CD provides a machine-readable listing of Bristol Probate Inventories collated and edited by Edwin George and Susan George; see: E. and S. George (1988: Bristol Record Society and Gloucester Archaeological Society: Bristol) Guide to the Probate Inventories of the Bristol Deanery of the Diocese of Bristol (1542-1804).

11. Four commercial directories for the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries

Matthew's Commercial Directory (1794)
Reed's Commercial Directory
Matthew's Commercial Directory
Matthew's Commercial Directory

Each of these datasets provides a full list of all the individuals and companies included in the original directory. Collectively, they provide a detailed analysis of the changing economic and social character of the city.

The 1792 Directory contains information on 3,315 individuals and firms; 1794 provides 3,955; 1801 with 5,158; and lastly 1851 gives detail on 7,548.

12. Members of the Society of Merchant Venturers to 1972

The Society of Merchant Venturers (SMV) dates back to the granting of its Charter in the sixteenth century. Membership of the SMV could be obtained in four ways: through the payment of a fine; through patrimony and apprenticeship, and through possession of the freedom of the city. This dataset gives the names of all members of the SMV, giving, where known, the date of admission, place of birth, occupation, and the dates of their mastership of the SMV (where appropriate)

13. Voluntary Contribution (1799)

In February 1798 a meeting of Bristolians held at the Guildhall started a subscription campaign to collect money for the defence of the kingdom during the war with France. During 1798 and 1799 over £33,000 was raised by local Bristolians. In 1800 a list of all those who had subscribed to this voluntary contribution was published by J. Rudhall of Small Street with the title List of Subscribers to the Voluntary Contribution Raised in the City of Bristol and its Vicinity in the Year 1798 in Defence of the State. Copies were sent to all contributors whose address was known to the organisers, but few copies seem to have survived.

The dataset of this book contains 2,091 records - 48 firms, 128 groups of people and 1,915 individuals (some not named, including 'A Cheerful Mite for England' and 'The Widow's Mite'). Each record contains basic information about the contributor - always the name and amount subscribed and sometimes their occupation or trade and address. One interesting characteristic of the list is that it contains a large number of female donors.