Review from the Journal of Military History
The CD-Rom, Armies of the Crown, is an example of one of the major changes which the historical profession is presently undergoing.It combines electronic reproductions of two bibliographical references essential for anyone interested in the history of the British Army’s regimental system, or of the related units of the Empire and Commonwealth.These works are Arthur S. White’s Regimental Histories of the British Army and Roger Perkin’s Regiments and Corps of the British Empire and Commonwealth, 1758-1994 (2d ed).For historians, professional and amateur, as well as genealogists these books are fundamental to research into the regiments and their history, though both works have their drawbacks.White’s book, for example, is some thirty years old.Still, one cannot work in this field without them, and they are often hard to find outside the United Kingdom.It is the situation that the new technology has made its impact.Naval & Military Press offers the researcher these invaluable tools in a compact and reasonably priced electronic version.Since a mere facsimile would not make full use of the technology available, the disc also contains a search engine, called “FolioViews.”This mechanism allows one to search either book in a variety of ways.The basic screen has three windows, which can be manipulated in various ways.One window shows the table of contents of either book in greater or lesser detail. Another displays pages in successive order, while the third shows all matches.The input search can be a number of key words.One can search by regimental name, number, title, seniority, and so on.In short, the search engine is simple to learn and presents the researcher with the ability to access things far faster than could be done in the printed version of the books.In addition, the ability to print out the results obviates the need to scribble notes.Armies of the Crown clearly demonstrates an aspect of how rapidly changing technology is affecting the historical profession.One problem which cannot be solved by Armies of the Crown is the difficulty of obtaining the works listed.Perkins’s book. unlike White’s, gives leads as to where these histories can be found, though that often does not prove very helpful since regimental histories are often scarce and hard to find.Quibbles aside, Armies of the Crown is absolutely essential for research libraries and individuals working in this field.Coupled with another major technological advance, the world wide web (especially sites such as www.regiments.org), Armies of the Crown demonstrates that researchers are one step nearer to the day when most sources will be accessible on CD-Rom or on the Web.
CD-Rom Minimum System Requirements: Pentium (or equivalent) PC, 4X CD-ROM drive, 1GB of RAM, 250 MB free hard disk space and Windows™ NT,95,98 XP or VISTA. This is NOT compatible with 64bit Win 7, 8 or 10
ARMIES OF THE CROWN The Bibliographies of Their regimental Histories Great Britian, The Empire and the Commonwealth
The late Arthur S. White was for many years Librarian at the Ministry of Defence (Army). During that time he catalogued all the published Corps and regimental histories of the British Army – Regular, Militia, Volunteer and Territorial. In 1980, Roger Perkins began the parallel task of tracing and recording the published histories of the armed forces of the British and Indian Empires. Their two massive bibliographies have now been unified in this single easy-to-consult CD ROM.