Ancestry.co.uk have announced that part of the 1910 Land Valuation Survey is now available for keying in the Ancestry World Archives Project. The 1910 Land Valuation Survey is a massive collection, which is of interest to local and house historians as well as genealogists.
Before you get too excited, the records currently available for indexing (known as the Domesday Books) are just a small part of the complete survey. Those currently being indexed cover “land in the City of London and Paddington”. Other Domesday Books, if they have survived, are available at local record offices.
You can find out more about the survey on The National Archives website where they have a research guide which covers the subject. The most important part of the survey are the field books (in IR58) which contain a wealth of details on the land and property involved, but usually very little information about the people involved. According the research guide:
The amount of information entered in the Field Books varies considerably, but usually includes the names of owner and occupier; the owner’s interest (freehold, copyhold, etc.); details of tenancy (term and rent); and the area covered by the property. Other details recorded may include the date of erection of buildings, number of rooms, state of repair, liability for rates, insurance and repairs, date(s) of previous sale(s) and, sometimes, a sketch-plan of the property
It can take some work in finding the correct field book (using maps) but it is usually well worth the effort. The indexing of the Domesday Books (IR91) will help make access easier for those areas covered.
I can only hope that this is the start of a much larger project to digitise the entire survey including the field books and maps.