When searching the Cluster, you may find that you do not get some results which you know should have been found, or alternatively you may find some results which you know should not have been returned. These can usually be explained by thinking carefully about the underlying data and its limitations (for which see Project Limitations more generally). Some examples of invalid queries are also given below, with explanations of why they will not work as expected.
Why did I not get the results I expected?
- The criteria have not yet been implemented. The Cluster is a pilot project to demonstrate the principles; for this reason there are many queries which are possible but which have not been implemented. We hope to provide these in a future phase of the project.
- The project content is limited. The constituent projects do not all contain the complete corpus of charters. ASChart only includes charters issued before A.D. 900, and LangScape only contains charters with boundary clauses. eSawyer only contains data for issuing kings, not bishops or others. And so on.
- Content may be inconsistent across projects. You may find a charter on one of the constituent project sites, but find that this charter does not appear when you search on the Cluster. This could be because the information in the constituent project is not consistent with that of the project which the Cluster uses for searching. For example, if you search for an estate name using the spelling from eSawyer, but that spelling is different in LangScape, then you will not find any results because the Cluster uses LangScape for estate names.
- Data models may be inconsistent across projects. The projects have different focusses and so model the same data in different ways. For example, eSawyer focusses on the charter, with each royal charter being associated with a king or other official. PASE, on the other hand, models events. Thus if a bishop is associated with a charter, and would potentially be considered the issuer of that charter in eSawyer, that same bishop may be modelled in PASE as having any number of different roles, and automatically deciding which of those roles correspond to 'issuer' can be difficult or impossible.
- All criteria are applied at the level of the charter. This may seem misleading, but it is important to remember that the search criteria are applied to charters. For example, searching for 'Estate is Water Eaton and County is Oxfordshire' will not return only all charters with bounds for the Water Eaton in Oxfordshire, but rather will return all charters which have bounds for estates in Water Eaton and bounds for estates in Oxfordshire.
Examples of Invalid Searches
To complement the example searches, some examples are given below of searches which may seem reasonable but which will return unexpected results.
|Attempted Search||Projects Searched||Problem||Explanation|
|Give me information about the Æthelred who appears in charters issued by King Edward the Confessor.||eSawyer, PASE||Search not possible.||Search criteria not yet implemented. What was Æthelred's role in the grant? Currently you must specify which role the person has (witness, issuer, etc.), although this restriction could be removed in future.|
|Give me all charters issued for land in Dorset during Cnut's reign which are attested by Earl Leofric of Mercia.||eSawyer, LangScape PASE||Search not possible (or may given unexpected results).||
Search criteria not yet implemented. The Cluster cannot infer when Cnut reigned. NB the difference between 'issued by Cnut' (which is a valid criterion) and 'issued during Cnut's reign' (which is not).
|Give me summaries of all charters issued for land in Dorset issued by King Cnut which are attested by Earl Leofric of Mercia.||eSawyer, LangScape, PASE||Fewer results than expected.||Limited project content. County information comes from LangScape, but LangScape only knows about charters with bounds so cannot report on all charters.|
|Give me (list, plot on map) all the estates granted to Harold Godwineson.||eSawyer, LangScape, PASE||Fewer results than expected.||Limited project content. Locations and names of estates come from LangScape so are available only for those with bounds, not all estates.|
|Give me all the issuers/beneficiaries of charters with invocations beginning 'Aio et alto domino Deo'.||ASChart, eSawyer, PASE||Search not possible (cannot enter text).||Search criteria not yet implemented. Invocation text: currently there is no scope for searching text. This may be provided in future.|
|Plot on a map all the estates issued to the Bishop of Worcester.||eSawyer, LangScape, PASE||Search not possible (Bishop of Worcester not in list of issuers).||Search criteria not yet implemented. Who was the Bishop of Worcester? You must specify the name of an individual, not a role.|
|List all the estates in grants to Harold Godwineson which were issued by Ealdred, Bishop of Worcester. [Note that bishops as issuers not in eSawyer; PASE data is ambiguous.]||eSawyer, LangScape, PASE||Search not possible (Ealdred, Bishop of Worcester not in list of issuers).||Limited project content; inconsistent modelling across projects. eSawyer only contains issuers who are kings. PASE models transactions rather than charters and so cannot consistently identify the issuer.|
|Show all the manuscripts containing invocations issued by Kings Cnut and Harthacnut, ordered by date.||ASChart, eSawyer||Search not possible (cannot order by date).||Mixed return type (invocation, date)|
|Show all the manuscripts containing invocations issued by Kings Cnut and Harthacnut.||ASChart, eSawyer||No results returned.||Limited project content. Cnut and Harthacnut are eleventh-century, but ASChart only gives invocations up to the ninth century.|
|Show all the manuscripts containing bounds from grants issued by King Cenwulf of Mercia.||ASChart, eSawyer||Some manuscripts listed do not actually contain the given bounds.||Criteria at charter level. Manuscripts come from eSawyer, bounds come from ASChart (not LangScape); but neither eSawyer nor LangScape has information about manuscript content.|
|Give all charters granting land at Water Eaton (Ox.)||eSawyer, LangScape||Too many results returned||Criteria at charter level. Cluster searches for charters with granted estates called 'Water Eaton', and any estate in Oxfordshire; not charters with an estate which is both called Water Eaton and is in Oxfordshire.|