Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1976


Relevance in history today is often identified with the discovery of the history of the nonelite classes, those men, women and children of the past who belonged to the vast but inarticulate majority. With the aid of the computer, the scanty evidence: birth, marriage and death dates in town, county or church registers; addresses in city directories; and entries in hospital, prison and census records is yielding information on the economic and social conditions, geographic mobility, and marriage and childbearing patterns of the lives of those who hitherto have been silent because they left no traditional written sources for historical research. Yet, despite sophisticated analysis, the poor and the middle class, the minorities, the women and the chil dren, the sick, the law-breakers, indeed all except those few men, and fewer women, who won fame, fortune or notoriety, remain statistics or composite constructs without life or personality.



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