Monthly Archives: August 2022

Official Records Without Officials by Jonathan Jarrett

Boso’s two rewritten transactions, recorded sequentially on the same parchment, Vic, Arxiu Capitular, calaix 6, núm. 547; photograph by the author, 2015.

What do you do if you lose or damage an important document, a contract or a lease or something like that? These days, you probably just download a fresh copy, but not so long ago that wasn’t an option; you might have had to go back to the relevant office and pay for a new copy to be made and given to you. But go back to the centuries after the breakdown of Roman rule in Western Europe and there were no such offices. My article in Social History 44.3 looked at what people did, in that world, to make something an official record when there were no officials to record them. Continue reading