This unique reference work makes significant areas in Britain's Public Record Office (PRO) truly accessible for the first time. Equivalent to the U.S. National Archives, the British PRO offers a treasure house of records for the genealogist and others, covering all aspects of life from birth to death. In the first half of the book, Colwell points researchers in new directions with thorough examinations of land transfers, the legal system, taxation, and migration. The remainder of the book examines the sources at work, illustrating how to build a detailed pedigree by employing case studies of families from a wide range of social groups. This highly detailed and specialized book is technically well executed and contains more than 165 illustrations. The autobiographical introduction is delightful; the notes exceptionally useful and well organized; the bibliography, though up to date, omits publisher and city. Colwell joins several excellent, recent general guides to tracing ancestors in the PRO (e.g., Amanda Bev an and Andrea Duncan's Tracing Your Ancestors in the Public Record Office , State Mutual Bk., 1987). It stands out as an excellent, scholarly book, very useful for experienced British genealogy re searchers and an essential acquisition for large, comprehensive genealogy/history collections. Smaller, more general collections should borrow it on interlibrary loan. It is a joy to use.