When documents are destroyed or lost: lay people and archives in the early Middle Ages

@article{Brown2004WhenDA,
  title={When documents are destroyed or lost: lay people and archives in the early Middle Ages},
  author={Warren C. Brown},
  journal={Early Medieval Europe},
  year={2004},
  volume={11},
  pages={337-366}
}
In this paper, I discuss some largely unexplored evidence about lay archives in early medieval Europe. This evidence consists of a set of formulae from late Roman, Merovingian, and Carolingian Gaul, and from Carolingian Bavaria. According to these formulae, lay men and women in these regions from the sixth to the ninth centuries kept documents in private archivesbecause they regarded documents as vital to the security of their property holdings. The manuscripts in which the formulae survive… 
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