‘Parry’s Tables’ defies internet age to reach century

Posted on: 7 February, 2013

A 100-year-old book of calculation tables, seen as indispensable by valuation and property professionals despite the internet age, is celebrating its centenary with a new edition.

The 13th edition of Parry’s Valuation and Investment Tables by Alick Davidson is published this week, containing some 30 different sets of tables in one volume.

The original book of tables by surveyor Richard Parry was published in 1913. Parry went on to become the first principal of the College of Estate Management six years later, and granted the College copyright of the tables.

Parry’s Valuation and Investment Tables is still in widespread use by practising surveyors and students throughout the world, despite the growth of smartphones and availability of spreadsheet software.

The book’s current author Alick Davidson, a former head of department at the College of Estate Management,  has updated the last five editions of Parry’s Tables including the latest over a span of more than 40 years.

He said: “It’s quite remarkable really. About 15 years ago everyone thought that with computers and pocket calculators Parry’s would have a limited life – but there’s still great demand for it.”

College of Estate Management principal Dr Ann Heywood, has written the foreword to the latest edition. She said: “Richard Parry may not have anticipated the longevity of his work, but he would have been amazed by its international appeal.

“A hundred years is a long time for any book to be continuously in print, and it is an even rarer event for a textbook, so it is very fitting that such a landmark should be commemorated by a special centenary edition.”

Parry’s Valuation and Investment Tables by Alick Davidson, is published by Routledge Taylor & Francis. To celebrate its centenary, a special limited edition leather slip-cased version of the book is also available.