Cambridge Archive Editions is now an imprint of Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press, founded by a royal charter granted to the University of Cambridge by King Henry VIII in 1534, is the oldest printer and publisher in the world, having been operating continuously since 1584.
Cambridge University Press is one of the largest academic publishers globally, its purpose to further the University's objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research, and thus the change will bring major benefits for our customers, as it will provide stability in the years to come, allowing us to develop content which is even more rich and diverse. Moreover, we will be taking advantage of Cambridge's history of innovation, by working with them to make our material available online, to make access even easier.
For further information on Cambridge University Press, go to www.cambridge.org
Cambridge Archive Editions conducts original research in government records and other sources. Our aim is to make available to libraries and scholars historical reference materials which otherwise would remain unknown, difficult to access, or fragmentary.
We produce new titles every year, as current affairs encourage us to cover topical material. Our publications provide hundreds of thousands of pages of facsimile original documents, as well as many maps, on the national heritage and political development of many countries. Our material is particularly rich for the study of boundary formation, claims and disputes. For many years we have specialised in the history of the Middle East and our titles provide an extensive library collection of resources on the modern political development of the Arabian peninsula and Persian Gulf. Significant additions to the list also provide material on the Balkans, the Caucasus, Russia, South East Asia and the Far East and a series of work on tribal/ethnic minorities. In 2016 we began an intermittant series on North America. Facsimile reproduction ensures the historical authenticity of the original documents.
Cambridge Archive Editions titles, with some exceptions, fall into two types: collections of key documents, and series of political reports; researched from files available in the public domain including, but not exclusively, the National Archives of the UK.
Cambridge Archive Editions (CAE) endeavours to identify and select, arrange and describe a wide range of the most important documents from the British Government records to create a true survey of an historical period, or a political movement, or a country’s development.
CAE collections are built on the strength of the archival content: our researchers offer proposals based on subjects where the file holdings are deep, resulting in high-quality selections. The political reports series, in particular, focus on completeness and organisation of material previously unknown or scattered. Commonly we will expect our researchers to consult as many as 700 separate files, across many file sources, in an effort to uncover all possible useful, relevant documents.
We excise the duplication and exclude irrelevance from each file and we re-structure the documents, mixing papers from different file classes and imposing a direct chronological order so that we can create a coherent theme. We include replies and attachments, and extracts where only part of a document is relevant, so that we can create a discrete document collection, organised on a theme.
We arrange the document descriptions under headings and they are read alongside the unfolding narrative of the ordered documents themselves, in contrast with a large database product which will rely on search mechanisms to pull subjects together via the metadata.
We reproduce maps or we may add supporting maps if maps are not extant in the documents.
Archive Editions also reproduces, in facsimile, some classic standard works of reference mainly in the Middle East list, including Lorimer's Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia; Saldanha's Persian Gulf Précis and Low's History of the Indian Navy.
Much of the material in these volumes is subject to British Crown Copyright and is published under licence from the National Archives. The publishers acknowledge the assistance of many research sources, including the National Archives, London; the Oriental and India Office Collections of the British Library; the universities of Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, London, Oxford, Harvard and others; and further sources in Europe and the USA, including US State Department files.
Language Of Publication
For the most part the publications are in English, this being the language of the original documents. Some publications are partly or substantially in Arabic (this is indicated in their description). Some documents are found in French, or occasionally German or Turkish.
Quality Of Presentation
The print volumes are produced on acid-free paper and bound in high quality library bindings. The digital versions benefit from the facility to enlarge the type-size helping the reader with difficult originals. Many publications include folding historic maps, often in colour, in a map box matching the volumes. The digital sets include these maps and also include the same enlargement functionality to see more detail.
Many of the publications include detailed document lists, quoting source file references, for the benefit of researchers. In the digital versions these are searchable.
Some older titles have less detailed descriptive contents and four titles have their references withheld. Where reproductions of standard works are concerned, such as Lorimer's Gazetteer, the contents are as they were in the original.
It is in the nature of facsimile reproductions of original documents to display foxing and spotting and we take great care to maintain a quality of contrast that may be easily read. However, it is almost impossible to reproduce everything perfectly and we sometimes take the view that retyping an original is the only option. We always indicate a retype with a footnote below it. Occasionally we have retained as facsimile a document that looks as though it should have been retyped, on the grounds that we cannot be sure what it says. We take the view that for historical integrity we should include such documents even where parts of the text are obscured.