From the eleventh century to the Digital Age, the Domesday Book is now online

Friday, August 4, 2006

The historic Domesday Book is actually comprised of two volumes. One is called the Great Domesday while the other is called the Little Domesday.

The Domesday Book, penned in the eleventh century, can now be explored online after more than twenty years of work.

The book was commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086 to tally the amount of land and resources owned throughout England. The findings were used to calculate taxes, and the wealth of the king.

From today, anyone with an Internet connection is now able to explore the book for free. A web browser can be used to find out what life was like in the past in any English village, town or city. In addition, a person can download a copy of any page from the book for the fee of £3.50.

Commenting on the online edition, Adrian Ailes, a Domesday expert from The National Archives, said it was “a fantastic achievement”. “It is important that people of all ages should be able to read and use this national treasure,” he added.

The book was voted the “nation’s finest treasure” in 2005. But studies have found that thirteen percent of people believe the Domesday Book to be a chapter in the Bible, and nearly two percent think the iconic document is a novel penned by Dan Brown.

The original text is currently on display at The National Archives in west London.

The portalpage for the online edition is