[ELH] TASC Datasets and how to use them

England and Wales
Pre-Reformation Diocese of Lincoln
comprising the historical counties of Lincoln, Leicester, Rutland, Northampton, Huntingdon, Cambridge (including the Isle of Ely), Bedford, Hertford (part), Buckingham, and Oxford.

Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester
Pre-Reformation Diocese of Worcester
comprising the historical counties of Worcester, Warwick (southern half), and Gloucester (east of the Severn and Leadon rivers). Also included, some parishes of southern Staffordshire and northern Somerset.

Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester
Pre-Reformation Diocese of Bath and Wells
comprising the historical counties of Somerset and Dorset. (File size 3.1MB; Dorset parishes remain work in progress.)

Author: Dr Michael Costen, University of Bristol
Pre-Reformation Diocese of London
comprising the historical counties of Essex, Middlesex, Hertford (part), and the Cities of London and Westminster. (In progress: Archdeaconry of Colchester parochial dedications so far complete.)

Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester, from original research undertaken and generously made available by Dr Janet Cooper, formerly Essex editor of the Victoria History of the Counties of England.
Wales and the English Marches
comprising the historical counties of Wales, plus the English counties of Gloucester (west of the Severn and Leadon rivers), Hereford, Salop, and Cheshire.

Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester
Diocese of Sodor and Man
contemporary dedications of the Isle of Man.

Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester

Catholicate of Georgia
Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester

Diocese of Munster, Uberstift
Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester

The Netherlands
West Frisia
Parochial dedications of the medieval parishes of Frisia west of the Lauwers Zee
Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester, from original research by Dr Gerrit Verhoeven published by the Fryske Akademy and generously provided for TASC through the good offices of Dr Hans Moll.

Dedications (from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries) from the region of Petrozavodsk and Lake Onego
Authors: Prof Irina Tcherniakova, University of Petrozavodsk, and Ms Yulia Kozhevnikova
Medieval dedications of Novgorod and its region
Author: Prof Jukka Korpela, University of Joensuu

(In progress. Diocese of Tarragona part-complete. Other dioceses, parochial dedications only.)
Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester, with help and encouragement from colleagues in the University of Barcelona and the National Catalan Archives.

Former Yugoslavia
Former Yugoslavia
Orthodox dedications of Kosovo
Author: Dr Graham Jones, University of Leicester

Dedications of the Diocese of Holar in Access format
Author: Professor Meg Cormack, University of South Carolina

How the datasets are arranged (includes Glossary)

How to search and sort the dataset

Choosing the best way of accessing the data

The illustration shows the legendary consecration and dedication by angels of St Werstan's chapel at Malvern in Worcestershire, while Werstan prays, below. Stained glass, c. 1460, in the abbey church of Ss Mary and Michael. Drawing by M. T. Stevens in James Nott, Malvern Priory Church, c. 1900.

'Reading' the datasets

The datasets are written as Microsoft Excel 2000 spreadsheets.

Each row provides information about an individual case - for example, the patronal cult (commonly known as the 'dedication' or patronicium) of a church.

Each column is concerned with a specific class of information - for example, the parish in which that church is or was located, or, in another column, the earliest date at which the 'dedication' is recorded.

The datasets can be sorted and searched, to discover, for example, how many churches have (or had) dedications in honour of St George, and at what periods. (See more about sorting and searching, below.)

The value of spreadsheets is that they allow the viewer to see how groups of dedications within a single district (or, indeed, within a single place of worship) relate to each other in exceptionally significant ways. This is not possible using 'relational' databases such as Microsoft Access.

What if text is hidden? Viewing the data on-screen in interactive* mode, hidden text can be revealed by holding the cursor over one side of the topmost (shaded and lettered) cell in the column until the cursor changes shape from an open to a solid, arrowed cross, clicking and dragging the column divider as far as required. Where the data is saved as an Excel file off-line, clicking on any cell displays the text within it in the formula bar.

For more guidance on how the datasets are organised, click here.

*Unfortunately, to use the dataset Web pages interactively, you must have Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 or later and Microsoft Office Web Components. This is a consequence of Microsoft's policies and not those of TASC. Sorry!

How to search and sort the dataset

The datasets can be searched and sorted in a number of ways.


If a single record is sought, the simplest way is to use the Filter facility. If you wish to find an entry among those relating to a particular parish, click on the arrowed filter button at the top of the 'Parish' column. A display will appear with the names of all the parishes in the dataset listed alphabetically. 'Turn off' the tick in the box labelled '(Show All)', then scroll down and tick the box against the name of the parish required.

Similarly with groups of records, all the records relating to, say, a single cult can be similarly displayed.

To return to the dataset in its original state, use the 'Undo' button on the left of the toolbar (curled, left-pointing arrow).

The 'Autofilter' can be switched on and off. Use the 'filter jug' button to the right of 'ZA' in the toolbar. (To turn the Autofilter back on, all the records must be selected - by clicking on the blank, shaded cell at the top-left of the dataset.)

Viewing the data off-line as an Excel file saved to disk, the search facility using 'Edit' and then 'Find' may be quicker, if the correct spelling of the parish name is known.


These datasets are best sorted off-line, since the 'Sort' facility allows records to be interrogated three columns at a time. (For example, by 'Dedication', 'pc', and 'Date', to show all parish churches under a particular saint's patronage at a particular period. Further sorting of the required set of records can follow, either in situ or by saving the set to a new file.)

Sorting on-line can be achieved, however, by using the 'Sort' facility. The records are sorted one column at a time, but you must first select (highlight) all the records (by clicking on the blank, shaded cell at the top-left of the dataset).

DO NOT sort an individual column, or two or three columns, since this, of course, will 'shatter' the records. If you find you do this by mistake, use the 'Undo' button (the 'curled arrow' icon, pointing anticlockwise, on the left of the dataset toolbar). If this proves difficult, use your 'Back' button and load the Web page again.

Sorted records can be saved to disk by 'Select', 'Copy', and 'Paste'.

Without free access to the Web, it is likely to be cheaper, nevertheless, to download the dataset and work off-line. See the next section.

Choosing the best way of accessing the data

The datasets available on this page can be accessed in one of two ways, depending on the intended use.

For simple and speedy inquiries, it may be best to use them on the page, using one or more of the facilities described below.

For more complex uses - for example, to trawl a dataset, to work on it off-line, to amend it or to incorporate material in another dataset - it is easier (and probably cheaper!) to transfer data on to your own disk.

Transferring data is easily in done in one of several ways.

Option One: Select (highlight) the data required. (The whole dataset can be highlighted by clicking in the blank, lettered and shaded cell at the top left of the dataset.) Click on the 'Copy' button (the 'overlapping sheets' icon next to the scissors icon on the dataset toolbar). Switch to the spreadsheet program on your hard disk. Create a new file, and then use the 'Paste' tool to make a copy of the selected TASC data.

Option Two: Click on the 'Export to Excel' button (the 'green X and a pencil' icon towards the right of the dataset toolbar). This will open a copy of the dataset in Excel on your hard disk. Although this copy is marked 'read only' and is currently in your 'Temp[orary]' folder, it can be saved as a 'workable' file in the folder of your choice.

This option is in fact easier and quicker than Option One, if it's the whole dataset which you require. It is also the way in which the dataset can be viewed as its authors intended - read as a document or searched like an index.

[Leicester University] [*]
Last updated: 25 May 2004 10:17
Dr G.R. Jones

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