Search the Paston Letters and Documents
This is the page on which you can search all the Paston documents which have already been put on this site. Because this is a developing project, you need to be aware of what you can do at present and watch for changes in the future.
From September 2020 the site contains all the Paston letters from the medieval period. and the letters from the 17th century.
The medieval letters are mostly, but not completely, using the text of Gairdner's 1904 publication with later research where available. We are gradually working through them to add notes and a 'The Letter Today?' version. Use the 'Search Mode' box to choose whether you search all the letters or just the ones we have edited with notes. At present, the majority are in the unedited format.
When the option Specified using AND/OR and (brackets) is selected, the search field recognises:
- the AND or OR terms - for example John OR Margaret and John AND Margaret;
- grouping by brackets such as (John OR Margaret) AND Paston where we are searching for either John or Margaret but saying that Paston must always appear;
- grouping words using quotes - e.g. 'John Paston' AND ('Margaret Paston' OR 'Margarete Paston') where we are trying to cover where John Paston must appear along with either Margaret Paston or the alternative spelling of Margarete Paston.
The search field also recognises wild card searches using an asterisk (*) in order to use entries such as Margaret*Paston which should handle anywhere where Margaret appears in the text as long as Paston appears anywhere afterwards.
The 'Topic' search buttons can be grey, with no action, clicked once to be green and used for searching or clicked again for red, and omitted from a search. These are limited in their coverage will be replaced in due course by a comprehensive taxonomic ssearch facilty.