Work on the Statutes project for the last three months of 2018:
The big news is that I now have a complete set of volumes of statutes for the nineteenth century, courtesy of the Institute of Historical Research allowing me to photograph their copies. The OCR’d text, messy but undergoing correction, can be found on Github.
There is also now a complete set of tables of public acts for the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1801 to 1921. Again, find them on Github.
Laws added: the utterances of an oaf required the addition of Statute of Praemunire; Hallowe’en led me to add some witchcraft acts from 1541, 1563, and 1604, and Bonfire night was marked with James I’s dictat for the Observance of November the 5th. Topical stuff, eh?
Also added: 1739 County Rates Act and 1838 Public Records Act.
A new section has been created for private, local and personal acts; the first text in it is the Lancashire Sessions Act of 1798.
And the usual round of automated OCR corrections.
I have now completed tables of the full, long titles of public statutes passed by the parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from the Act of Union in 1801 up to 1921, when Ireland was divided and the south achieved independence. They can be found on github. All these tables are public domain, and can be reused for any purpose and in any way one wishes.
I am currently working on generating tables of abbreviated titles of private and local acts for this period, using the annotated lists of local acts and private acts produced by Legislation.gov.uk.
This will be quicker than working through the full titles in the volumes of statutes for this period, although at the cost of less detail. (Tables giving full titles will be produced eventually as I work on correcting the OCR of the scanned volumes, but this will take some time.)
Once the private and local tables have been created, I will produce a more convenient package of these lists, easy to download and suitable for searching and text mining.
Work on the Statutes Project done over the last two months:
A blog post: on a satyrical law against make-up and adornments, sometimes taken as real, that I’ve dated back to 1785.
New tables: There is now a complete run of tables of public acts spanning 1807 to 1912, hosted on Github.
New acts added: three on the preservation of historical monuments from 1882, 1892 and 1900; the Corruption of Blood Act, 1814; and the Transportation Act, 1718.
And the usual round of automatic corrections to the OCR’d text of the collections of statutes. Whilst still very messy, the text is readable for those volumes in a modern font, and approaching readability for those in old, ‘long-s’ typefaces. Find them on Github.
Work on the Statutes Project done in the last two months:
New Volumes: I have scanned, and uploaded to Github, 13 volumes of the series ‘The Law Reports: The Public General Statutes’, each covering one session of parliament held between 1880 and 1898. Note that this is raw, uncorrected OCR; as yet I haven’t run my corrections list over these files. And note that this isn’t a complete, or even consecutive, run; there are still 8 years of the nineteenth century missing.
New Tables: there is now a complete run of tables of legislation spanning 1814 to 1900, hosted on Github.
One new act: for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors, 1760.
New bibliographies, of the English Statutes of the Realm series, and – of a mere three items – for legislation of Antigua and the Leeward Islands. Also, updated are the Jamaican and Indian lists.
And the usual round of automated OCR corrections, and ‘garbage removal’, of random characters and symbols.
These last two months have mainly be spent making automated corrections to the OCRd volumes of the Statutes. Alongside correcting specific mistranscriptions, I’ve been working on correcting word endings, such as ‘fiire’ for shire and ‘mcnt’ for ment; and I have also been cleaning up random junk and stray marks generally interpreted by Abbyy Finereader as punctuation or symbols.
In other work, many new tables have been added, mainly for the nineteenth century. There is now a complete run from 1851 to 1880. Find them on Github.
Added to this site: New bibliographies for the various collections of British statutes. See the blog post about them, and the bibliographies themselves.
Also added, just a couple of new laws: 1857 Time in Royal Marines, 1858 Abolition of Franchise Prisons.
Work carried out in the last two months of 2017:
Transcribed two missing pages, listing statutes of the reign of Edward the Third, of volume 2 of Pickering’s Statutes at Large.
Started removing latin and french text from the earlier volumes of Pickering’s Statutes. English translations are given in the books, and the foreign versions serve to complicate the OCR correction process.
Github reorganization: I have split the Butterworths volumes into two groups on the basis of whether they used the long s or not.
Tables of statutes added to Github: just one, for 1756.
Many individual statutes added to this site.
Uploaded the first item to a new folder of miscellaneous items, namely a collection of statutes relating to Kingston Upon Hull.
And of course, automatic correction of many common mis-transcriptions in the Pickering, Ruffhead and Butterworths ‘long-s’ volumes.
To do in 2018, given I have other pressing commitments: to concentrate on the legislation of the parliament of Great Britain, from union with Scotland (1707) to union with Ireland (1800); to produce a full set of tables for these years; and to experiment with visualizing these tables.