Notes for prospective editors

  • 1.1. The Devon and Cornwall Record Society exists to publish editions of original records relating, wholly or in major part, to one or other of the two counties. Occasionally, it publishes handbooks too, such as Exeter Freemen, 1266-1967 and Guide to the Parish and Non-Parochial Registers of Devon and Cornwall. 1538-1837.
  • 1.2. The Society usually publishes a single volume each year. The normal print run is about 400 copies. Copies are sent to the 300 or so subscribers, and the rest are stored for sale to the public, which is handled by the Society.
  • 1.3. Volumes are paperback, and normally include about 200-250 pages, although longer and shorter texts will be considered for publication.
  • 1.4. The character of our volumes can be seen by looking at recent previous ones. Roughly speaking, each volume includes:
    • (a) Prelims: Table of Contents, Preface, Acknowledgements, Lists of Text-Figures/Tables/Maps/ Illustrations/ Abbreviations as appropriate.
    • (b) An Introduction of at least 25 pages, not usually more than 50, i.e. about 7,500- 15,000 words. This is divided into sections with subtitles, and describes the nature of the document(s) being edited, the kinds of material it contains, any problems and benefits which arise from using the document, how the document affects (and is affected by) a wider understanding of the field to which it relates, and how the document has been edited. The Introduction aims to cater for both intelligent general reader~ and professional historians -- providing what each needs to know. It also contains references to footnotes.
    • (c) The Main Text, i.e. the document(s) being edited. If the document is in Latin, it is normally translated into English, though interesting or problematic Latin words and phrases are noted in brackets where appropriate. If it is in old-fashioned English, it is transcribed as it stands, keeping the original spelling, but modernising the use of i/j, u/v. Policy on capital letters, punctuation, and spacing (e.g. of financial accounts) should be discussed with the Society's General Editor(s). The Main Text usually has only a few footnotes, limited to explaining textual problems rather than long explanatory notes.
    • (d) Bibliography, divided into unprinted and printed sources.
    • (e) One or more indexes of names, places, and subjects.
    • (f) Tables, maps, and plans are welcome, and the Society will also consider including photographic illustrations. Authors are responsible for providing professionally drawn maps and plans and prints of photographs, at their expense. Policy about maps and illustrations must be discussed with the Society's General Editor(s) at an early stage.
  • 1.5. Authors are responsible for getting permission to reproduce text, quotations, or illustrations from those to whom copyright belongs. Permission should be gained from public archives, as well as private owners, to reproduce documents or literary works.
  • 1.6. Anyone wishing to propose a volume for publication should fill in an application form, available from the Society. The application will be considered by the Society's General Editor(s), in consultation with other experts in the field. If the application is viable, it will be put to the Council of the Society for final approval. The Council meets early in the months of March and October every year.
  • 1.7. If the Council approves the application, it may, if it chooses, appoint a General Editor for the volume, who will liaise with the author. Otherwise the Hon. Editor will be the main point of contact. Other experts may be involved in commenting on the project as it proceeds. Volumes are published on a 'first come, first served' basis, so the earlier that a work is submitted, the earlier it will be published.
  • 1.8. The Society normally bears the cost of type-setting, printing, binding, mailing copies to subscribers, and sending out about 20 review copies. Authors are normally expected to pay for research costs, finding illustrations, and arranging (and paying for) reproduction of material in copyright. Authors are also responsible for reading and checking proofs and for providing an index. It is, however, helpful if authors can find grants towards the cost of publication. This should be discussed with the Honorary/General Editor as appropriate before the final text of the book is produced.
  • 1.9 The Author will receive six free copies of the book, and may buy others at 33% discount, provided that these are not for re-sa1e.
  • 1.10 The Society reserves the right to increase or reduce the price of its volumes and to hold book sales, at any time.


  • 2.1. All the contents of a volume (including tables, plans, maps, and illustrations) must be seen by the Hon/General Editor in final draft before the author submits a clean text to go to the typesetter or printer. This is to enab1e the Editor to see and comment on the nature of the work. This final draft should be absolutely complete, as regards checking and insertion of references.
  • 2.2 The clean text should be submitted to the Hon Editor by email attachment in MS Word in the first instance. If there are problems then we reserve the right to request two further formats: (a) a clean 31/2-inch disk, in a system previously agreed (b) one hard copy, in good quality print on A4 paper, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins.
  • 2.3 Authors must produce texts according to the Society's separate Style Sheet, which can be obtained from the Honorary Editor.
  • 2.4 Traditionally, the Society has aimed to publish its volumes in early October. This dictates the following timetable:
    • 1 September of previous year (at latest). Author submits a final draft to the Genera1 Editor to enable the Editor to comment on it. This draft should be complete and ready for pub1ication in all respects, including references.
    • 1 January. General Editor will have sent comments on the final draft to the author.
    • 1 March. Author, having incorporated General Editor's comments, sends clean disk and print-out to General Editor.
    • May-July. Author is available to read proofs and produce index.
    • 1 October. Publication of book.
However, it is increasingly keen to set publication dates earlier in the year, and in all cases a date of publication will be agreed for each volume. The basic time-frame outlined above, however, will continue to apply: thus for a book to be published in June, for example, submission of the final draft will be on 1 May of the previous year.

Any author unable to conform to this timetable should discuss the matter with the General Editor well before the 1 September mentioned above. The Society cannot undertake to publish texts which do not fit into this timetable.


There is no app1ication form. Please produce your own application, drawn up as follows, typed or word-processed, including both the section numbers and titles or questions, as listed below. This will be considered by the General Editor(s) and, if appropriate, by the Council of the Society.

1. The Application
  • 1.1. Applicant's Surname and Forenames 
  • 1.2. Preferred Title 
  • 1.3. Occupation 
  • 1.4. Relevant experience (e.g. degrees, professional qualifications, previous publications) 
  • 1.5. Title of Proposed Book (preferably not more than 12 words) 
  • 1.6. Contributions to Costs. (Are you able to contribute to the cost of publishing your book, or to obtain a grant towards the cost?)
2. Description of the Proposal
  • 2.1. A Synopsis of the Book. Please start a new sheet for this, and look at the Notes for Authors before writing it. The synopsis should be in two parts: (a) A List of Contents, normally including: 
  • Preface
  • Acknow1edgements
  • Lists of Figures/Illustrations/ Abbreviations; Introduction (including sub-section titles)
  • Main Text (inc1uding any sub-sections)
  • Bib1iography
  • Index
  • together with estimates of word length for each item. In calculating word lengths, please remember to include footnotes. Give the total word 1ength. (b) A Description, of a page or two, of what the Introduction and Main Text will each cover.
  • 2.2. Three Specimen Pages of Text (Also attach these on separate sheets).
3. Questionnaire (Please start on a new sheet)
  • 3.1 Why does this book merit publication?
  • 3.2 What other books exist in the same field, and how does yours differ from them?
  • 3.3 What aspects of your work will interest general readers who read history mainly for pleasure?
  • 3.4 What aspects of your work will interest scholars?
  • 3.5 What readership do you envisage the book having? (Please identify, e.g. general readers, local or amateur historians, students (school or university), academic historians, specialist groups?)
  • 3.6 Personal links. (Do you have any personal links or reputation that would help the sale of your book?)
  • 3.7 Book Sales. (Who is likely to buy the book other than the Society’s subscribers, who include many local historians and libraries in the two counties, and major university libraries in England?)
  • 3.8 Reviews. (Where should the Society send copies of your book for review?)
  • 3.9 Outline your timetable for completing the work. (Please say how long you need to carry out remaining research and writing, and the date by which the Society’s General Editor will be able to see all the work in final draft.)
Catherine Rider
Honorary Editor, Devon and Cornwall Record Society
January 2021