This collection brings together examples of administrative documents for use in teaching, especially the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. It exemplifies the growth of record keeping that occurred in central and local government from the mid thirteenth century onwards, which influenced a growing level of administration for individual merchants, and supports the investigation of motivation in the creation of records. The documents range across a number of different formats including cartularies, household accounts, legal documents and correspondence.
While the growth in use of written records had many advantages, it could also be abused, as a growth in document forgery shows. Written records could therefore be a source of conflict, with arguments occurring over whose version of events had actually been put to parchment. However they could also be created through cooperation between different groups, and could serve to reinforce social and business relationships.