Foster painstakingly worked through the University Archives, cross-referencing with other reference sources of the time, such as registers of the Inns of Court, ecclesiastical and political records. The entries vary in length; for example, here is that of Simon Laude:
Laude, Simon, s. Lewis, of Tamerton, Devon, sacerd. Exeter Coll, matric. 18 Feb., 1626-7, aged 16; B.A. 26 Jan., 1629-30.
Whereas the next entry, for Archbishop William Laud, is quite a bit longer. For many obscure people, such as Simon Laude, this is probably the only printed biographical summary of their lives, and so the Alumni is a particularly valuable resource.
We have tried to make it even more useful for users of British History Online by splitting the text into two columns, with names in the left-hand column to make them easier to scan; we have also put occurences of Oxford and Cambridge college names in bold.