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A topographical collection by


About the book
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We discovered this book in the late 1990s and found it fascinating.  As we use pages from it on our location photographs pages, here is some information about the book.  Should you want to see more, the book is available to view at the wonderful  Internet Archive.

Wiltshire Collections is a topographical study of Wiltshire from the 1660s and 1860s.  During 1659 to 1670 Dr John Aubrey travelled around Wiltshire visiting villages, churches and homes of the gentry; he kept notes of his travels and copied inscriptions on memorials at some of the churches he visited, some of which can no longer be read or even exist.  Before he was able to research and publish his notes Aubrey died.  Two hundred years later Dr John Edward Jackson took Aubrey's notes and 'corrected and enlarged' the work and the book was published.  Jackson's work must have been a huge undertaking; his knowledge and eye for detail are to be admired.  Even the detailed indexes must have been quite a task - no word processors in those days!  The book also contains illustrations of family crests, houses, monuments, maps and churches.

The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society published the book in 1862.  How grateful we should be to the Society for publishing this book thank goodness they realised what potential the book had as a marker in time for our local history, without which some of the information contained in the book would surely have been lost for ever.  Personally, I find the gentle style it was written in pleasing, and captures its era wonderfully - Aubrey was once described as a gossip!  I contacted the Society before undertaking to copy the book; they informed me the book is now out of Copyright so can be legally copied*.

* Although the book is no longer covered by copyright rules, the copyright of these images of the book belong to me.  I am happy for them to be reproduced for your own use, but they must not be sold.  Please read the  copyright conditions.

Into the 21st Century - it's Third Incarnation
We belonged to a genealogy mailing list called Moonrakers and offered to to 'look-ups' for other members.  This involved scanning relevant pages and emailing the image to people all around the world.  By the time I had finished - over 300 look-ups - I had scanned a huge amount of the book, so decided I may as well do the rest.

It took five months to complete my task; the whole book (about 600 pages) had been scanned and stored on disk as digital images - it took 41 floppy disks to hold it all.  These files have now been copied onto one CD and thus the contents of this book have been preserved for future generations.  I wonder what the two authors would make of my efforts!

Mandy Ball
June 2004

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