|This catalogue covers most of the records of the Court of Quarter Sessions for the County of Cambridge, in this case meaning Cambridgeshire excluding the Isle of Ely and the Borough of Cambridge, which had their own courts. It is in fact composed of two catalogues:
(i) A catalogue classified on archival principles similar to that used for other major official collections in the office, using significant letters to denote the class of document, derived from the function which created it (e.g. Q/SO - sessions orders). A copy of the classification scheme follows this note.
(ii) The 'old (pre-1961) catalogue', in which records are classified more loosely, using a simple numerical system (e.g. QS1 - minute books, QS2 - order books). The intention c1980s was for the whole catalogue to be gradually superseded by the classified cata logue. Where documents have been re-catalogued, former references have been crossed through and new ones written above them. The catalogue was formerly on slips, which have been photocopied to produce a catalogue in foolscap page form which is available in the searchroom.
In each case the reference to a particular document is composed of two main elements - either the group of letters denoting the class of document given at each subheading or (in the 'old catalogue') the group number given originally at the top of each slip, and a serial number given underneath. The full reference is obtained by combining the two.
e.g. Q/RDc7 Graveley inclosure map, 1806
QS3/1 Register of oaths of allegiance, 1715-1732
Q/SO10-11 Sessions order books, 1796-1810
There were separate courts of Quarter Sessions for the Isle of Ely and for the Borough of Cambridge. For the Isle of Ely Quarter Sessions, minute books and deposited plans have been listed under reference E/Q: n.b. Isle of Ely Quarter Sessions records pre-1800 are mostly held at Cambridge University Library. For the Cambridge Borough Quarter Sessions, lists are available under reference CB/Q
Most of these records are summarised in the Annual Report of the County Archivist for 1971, pp. 2-3 (Isle of Ely) and for 1975, p. 16 and for 1976, p. 19 (Cambridge Borough).