Getting started with the CCEd
There are a number of different ways of interrogating the Clergy of the Church of England Database. Depending on the type of inquiry you are pursuing, and the amount of information you already possess, one may be more appropriate than the others for your purpose.
The single most important choice to make is between ‘searching’ and ‘browsing’. For most purposes, either the Basic Search or the Advanced Search will be the place to start, but there are occasions when browsing will help you obtain the results you need.
On the Database page, you are in effect offered five of six options for exploring the CCEd. First there are two forms of search, ‘Basic Search’ and ‘Advanced Search’, accessed using the two tabs at the top of the red area of the screen. The default option, visible when the Database Home page is opened, is Basic Search. Then there are three browsing options, accessed from the grey (until selected) tabs on the left: ‘Browse Persons’, ‘Browse Locations’ and ‘Browse Bishops’. The sixth option, an Access based enquiry, is not available on the website, and is only relevant for extremely complex inquiries which cannot be supported by the search engines. It is likely to be of use only to those involved in sustained academic projects based on the Database, working in collaboration with the CCEd project team. Anyone wishing to make use of it is advised to contact the project team.
Further details of each method of interrogating the Database are provided on separate pages. What follows is brief guidance to help you choose the most appropriate for your purposes. The term ‘location’ in what follows covers a whole variety of offices and institutions in which clerics were employed: you may find it helpful to read the essays on Understanding location in CCEd and Interpreting Career Narratives provided elsewhere on the website before proceeding.
In both Basic and Advanced search there are help bubbles to assist users in entering a query; these work by holding the mouse over the Question mark symbol next to the field names.
The Basic Search enables you to search for records relating to particular names (a wildcard facility allows for spelling variations) and specific locations within the Database, and to look up CCEd career narratives where you already know the CCEd ID number of an individual cleric. Searches can be limited by date. This search will be adequate for most inquiries from genealogists seeking information on a particular person or family, or local historians interested in records associated with a particular place.
Should you wish to save a search (that is, the query, not the results) for future use, you will none the less need to use ‘Advanced Search’.
The Advanced Search allows you to search (with or without date limits) not only for persons and/or places, but also for events (birth, death, ordination, appointment, subscription). The search can be designed to return persons or events associated with a particular person or location, or within a particular geographical region or jurisdiction. It is possible to search for a location using wildcards to allow for spelling variation (in contrast to the Basic Search, where location must be selected from a drop-down menu). This search is useful for very specific searches, e.g. if you are seeking a particular event within a particular clerical career. Conversely, it is also useful for more wide-ranging enquires about the clergy of a particular region and/or period, e.g how many were appointed/ordained in a particular diocese over a particular period. It also includes a second phase, enabling a research query to be modified or compared with results for another set of criteria. This search will be particularly useful for those interested in more structural investigations of the clerical profession and for academic research.
Searches made using Advanced Search can be saved and retrieved.
‘Browse Persons’ offers the browse facility first established in the earlier version of the CCEd launched in 2005. It enables users to bring up lists of clergy whose surnames commence with a particular letter, limiting the search as required by date or jurisdictional diocese. However, whereas in the earlier version clicking on a name brought up a list of evidence records associated with a particular name, the new version will bring up the career narrative of that person in the first instance (the unsorted evidence records associated with that person can still be viewed by clicking on a link in the career narrative). You may find this facility particularly useful if an attempt to locate a person using the search engine has proved unsuccessful.
‘Browse Locations’ offers another browse facility first established in the earlier version of the CCEd launched in 2005. It enables users to bring up lists of locations by selecting the jurisdictional diocese under whose authority they fell. Clicking on a particular location will bring up a view of all evidence records associated with that location. You may find this facility particularly useful if investigating a group of locations within a particular diocese.
‘Browse Bishops’ offers a third browse facility first established in the earlier version of the CCEd launched in 2005. It enables users to select a bishop and then view all evidence records relating to events which occurred under his authority, clicking on a record to view its details. This facility will be particularly useful to those using the database to investigate the work of a particular prelate or to compare activity in different dioceses.