This thesis is based upon a study of a large database of materials extracted from mid C19th trades directories constructed by the present author. In total over 450,000 records were processed from 626 settlements and placed into a five field database covering all 40 English counties The reliability and the uses to which the directories are put to are explored along with an investigation of the various methods for linking records both with and without computers. A record linkage study is described, using materials from the author's directory database and a database constructed from census material. A description of the processes involved in creating the database is given, with examples of its coverage across all 40 English counties. A central theme of the thesis is the economic participation of women in the mid C19th economy, and to that end, a selection of relevant historical studies of women's involvement in the economy is discussed. A chapter of the thesis is devoted to a detailed investigation of the presence of women in the directories. Chapter 8 uses the raw data from the directories' database and selects from it all the occupations noted against women's names. This data is collated and examined county by county to assess to what extent assumptions about "women's work" are confirmed by the information contained in the directories. In addition, a Booth Armstrong classification system is applied to the women's data and conclusions are drawn from it.
Given that touch typing is an automatic skill it is logical to associate an expert typist with fast typing but a better description might be accurate typing. The principal benefit of touch typing, for the student typist, is that data input via a keyboard no longer requires conscious thought, or, visual confirmation.