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Management of European State Finance Database changes hands

Key resource for scholars and students to be re-developed

Issued on 26 May 2009

Dr Anne Murphy (Exeter) and Dr D’Maris Coffman (Newnham, Cambridge) are to take over management of the European State Finance Database from Reverend Professor Richard Bonney and Dr Margaret Bonney

Through this partnership, Drs Murphy and Coffman will oversee the re-development of the ESFDB website ( This valuable resource for scholars and students of early modern European public finance was the outcome of two research grants, the first by the British Academy (1989-1990) and the second from Economic and Social Research Council (Award No. R000231968, 1990-1993). After fifteen years of service, this resource is due for a re-development that would bring it in line with current computing standards.

The new management commits to:

• A cosmetic upgrade to improve the look of the site and provide new search and navigation tools

• The creation of a home page that preserves the site’s history and acknowledges the contributions of Professor Bonney and Dr Margaret Bonney and the BA and ESRC. Dr Margaret Bonney is now Chief Archivist at the Record Office of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, while Professor Richard Bonney is Emeritus Professor at the University of Leicester and Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Whitehall. Dr Graham Smith, presently University Fellow at the University of Leicester, provided essential technical advice in the creation of the original resource.

• Contacting existing contributors for revisions, additions or upgrades to their contributions.

• Standardizing the data sets to be compatible with those available through the Wharton Research Data Services and updating the site’s bibliography.

Once re-developed, the database will be maintained on Cambridge servers for the foreseeable future. The new management plans to re-launch the site in conjunction with a conference entitled ‘Questioning ‘Credible Commitment’: Re-thinking the Glorious Revolution and the Rise of Financial Capitalism’ ( that will take place in Cambridge during March 2010. The conference will bring together historians, economists, legal and political theorists to discuss the means by which trust was established in the public debt. It will also offer opportunities to postgraduate students. This conference will serve as a forum to publicise the updated site and to solicit new contributions. Interested parties should contact Dr Murphy ( or Dr Coffman (

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