The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, along with the Domesday Book, are the two unequalled treasure-houses of early English history. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is the first continuous composition in (Old) English. Its first version, recounting events before it was written, was compiled by order of Alfred the Great around 891. Copies were then kept at different monasteries around the kingdom, and added to yearly, sometimes by no more than a sentence, to give an account of 'history as it happened'. Seven manuscripts survive: the Parker Chronicle (the oldest surviving text, and apparently source of all the others, hence known as A); two Abingdon Chronicles (I [B), written by one scribe in the second half of the 10th century, and II [C], written by two scribes, and ending in 1066); the Worcester Chronicle [D]; the Laud (or "Peterborough") Chronicle [E]; and the Bilingual (Old English and Latin) Canterbury Epitome [F]. There are also fragments of other versions extant. The Peterborough Chronicle continued the longest, ending in the unfinished entry for 1154 - by which date, it was being written in an early Middle English.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has sometimes been called (the) Old English Annals and (the) Old English Chronicle.