What is the DEEDS Project?


The DEEDS Project was founded in 1975 by Michael Gervers, professor of History at the University of Toronto. DEEDS (Documents of Early England Dataset) is a database of medieval property exchange documents.

Initially more than 1,500 private charters, of particular reference to the County of Essex in England, from the Great Cartulary of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem were converted to digital format and stored in a database. The documents are in Latin. Many of then are undated. Analysis of the documents created a database of personal names, relationships, occupations, tangible and intangible properties, places and where available dates.

Subsequently the DEEDS corpus of private Latin charters has been expanded to 30,000 medieval property exchange documents from England and Wales using about 200 printed Cartulary sources and manuscripts.

The goal of this research is to use database technology to date the undated documents.

Ethiopia Database

The Ethiopia Database is a collection of images of Christian churches, art and associated objects from Ethiopia.

Central and Inner Asia Studies (CIAS)

The CIAS is dedicated to studying the political, economic, historical and cultural aspects of the region which occupies the vast territory from the China Sea to Eastern Europe. It seeks to advance knowledge of the area through dialogue and publication.

Funds permitting, annual conferences are held of which the proceedings are published.

Training Courses

The DEEDS Project at the University of Toronto was one of the pioneers of Oracle education in Ontario. Since May 1992, initially in Academic Alliance with Oracle Corporation and then as a partner with Oracle Corporation in the Workforce Development Program, we offered a uniquely successful full time course in database development.

The provision of training courses at the DEEDS Project was started in order to support the Research project financially and with the additional resources of a full-time Database Administrator, a full-time programmer and computing infrastructure.

As the research project has evolved away from the use of Oracle, the training courses have also adapted by introducing new topics.