THE REFORM ACT 1832. Richcow Software. pound;39.95 inc VAT. Tel: 01270 568730
I never cease to be amazed by what people think of putting into electronic formats and the work involved to achieve this. Richcow software has undertaken what can only be described as a heroic task to transfer to CD-Rom: verbatim texts of the Reform Acts themselves; the 400 detailed town surveys; descriptions, maps and plans used in drawing up the new constituencies.
It is one of those resources which ought to be dull but just isn't. You find yourself looking up your home town. You can study the maps and boundaries(just why are old maps so fascinating?) of the constituencies and how they were changed. You can study the reports themselves. As the publicity blurb says, it would be impossible to access this data outside a major academic library, and that would not be as quick or as clean.
The educational use of the CD is very much left to the teacher, which may be off-putting to some. However, for teachers looking for a way to bring local history andor ICT into their key stage 34 or post-16 schemes of work, this resource is worth a look.
Ben Walsh is a teacher and historyICT consultant