"If you've tried the rest, now try the best"    

Yorkshire CD books

Computer Searchable downloadable pdf files
of old and rare Yorkshire books

About our CDroms

We have now cleared all of our CDroms and so we now do downloads only.

Note that downloads are set up manually and therefore will not be instant.

Payment can be made either by a PayPal account, or with a Credit Card via PayPal in your own currency, or by Sterling Cheque drawn on a UK bank.

Please see the ordering and payment information page
for details on methods of payment.

We specialise mainly in historical books about Yorkshire,
exceptions being the 1868 National Gazetteer

Price comparisons:

When comparing prices of our CDroms with the prices of other vendors, please make sure that you are comparing like with like. For instance:

Please note that we do not sell any of the books we buy to scan, so if there is a problem at a later date., we can go back to the original book and (re)scan.


The price of our CDroms is calculated by taking into account the price of the original book(s) and the amount of time it takes to scan, process the images, OCR and proofread (to make them searchable), and finally to generate the Acrobat files and to put together all the navigation tools for this. We have no CDroms currently priced at over £25, even though the price of some of the books is well over £500.

What you get on a CDrom.

The data on our CD roms consists of pictures (graphics files) of every page, generated by scanning the original book(s). The scans of the text pages are not photographic images, but are black and white 1 bit images (i.e. you see either black or white, with no greys) which means that when printed you obtain a page which is very close to the original - examples of the pages are given for most of the books.

There are no plain text files of the books on these CD ROMs. The files are Adobe Acrobat .pdf files ( but see the note on the Whitaker's Craven CD about .png files). Readers are provided on the CDroms for both PCs and Macs (including iMacs). Navigation of the CD rom within Acrobat is made easy and quick by means of "navigation panes". Most of the CDs contain "Active links" (similar to HyperLinks on a web page) on the Contents and Index pages, and all but the National Gazetteer are machine searchable.

Included on all our Yorkshire CDroms are 5 maps:

  • A map showing the wapentakes.
  • 3 maps showing the parishes within the Ridings
  • A detailed map of Yorkshire showing which places were within which parishes in the pre 1832 era (i.e. the ancient parishes)
We take pride in our work, and try to put the best possible scanned images on the CDroms that we produce so that they are easily readable on a computer monitor without having to strain to read. The scanned images of text pages on our CDroms are black and white (not greyscale) unless otherwise stated, and when printed will give you a good facsimile of the page as it was when originally printed. The images have around 95% of the spurious dots removed (and 99.9% of the smaller ones), and are centred on the pages which are, where possible, a consistent size - we write our own software for doing this. The images are as square to the page as we can get them. Needless to say, the processing required to give you this quality image, along with making the image on the CDrom searchable, all takes time, and we believe our CDs are second to none in quality and value for money.

All of the books except for the National Gazetteer are machine searchable i.e. you can search for a word (or name) or a phrase. Being machine searchable also allows the Acrobat "Read out loud" facility to work for those who are visually impaired.

All of our books are scanned with the pages as flat as possible to the image sensor in order to keep scanning distortions to a minimum - we do not use an overhead scanner which gives horizontally compressed characters towards the centre of the book due to the curve on the pages and does not remove the print skewing relative to the page edges that occurs in many of the older books.


The images on the CDrom are in Acrobat pdf format, and are presented as individual books accessible from a common starting point which should appear automatically when the CDrom is inserted in the computer. Within each book, each page is presented separately. Photographs and detailed drawings are scanned in photographic mode, and where these are part of a text page, they are presented separately with a resolution such that all the detail of the original can be seen.

To make an Acrobat image searchable requires that the image is available in plain text so that the search software can search for individual words as opposed to searching for the image of the word. To generate the plain text file requires that the whole of the book is "OCRd" (Optical Character Recognition). The resulting text file is rarely perfect, and so a search for a given word or phrase cannot be guaranteed 100%, though in most cases it will be around 99.9%. Within the OCR software (currently Omnipage 17), proof-reading is carried out in order to remove errors in the text due to typos in the original (such as "succeeeding", reversed pairs of letters "teh" for "the", inverted letters, etc), and missing or distorted letters/words. As a rule, the sample .pdf files given on this site for the books are searchable.

The CDroms & cases etc:

We use various manufacturers recordable CDs (CD-Rs), all branded, such as TDK, DataSafe, DataMedia, Memorex etc., and the data on all CDs is verified after "burning".

All CDroms are supplied in a virtually unbreakable black plastic case - these cases are similar to a DVD case, but are the same width and height as a standard CD jewel case, but 1mm thicker (see photograph). To remove the CD simply press the button in the middle and the CD will pop up from the clip. If you try to remove the CD by pulling you will break the CD (yes, really, it has happened!).

The CDroms are mailed in a "Jiffy" (bubble wrap padded) bag. This has proved very reliable with (so far) no CDrom case damage.


All text files are scanned at 300 dots per inch (dpi), and if printed at the same size as the page scanned, then you will get a good quality reproduction of the original page, but please remember that the original page may have been anything but perfect (Baines' Directory and Langdale's in particular). To the best of my knowledge, each of the pages on these CD roms are fully readable, though in some cases there may be only partial characters. The scanned page files are 1 bit images and not photographic images. (i.e. the viewed page is either black or white, no greys). This ensures that you obtain a well defined image when printing.

Typical problems with the original books are:

If you have any queries with respect to these CDroms, please contact us.

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