History Data Service reborn

Article dated: 14 March 2008

The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) will not be funded in the same way after March 2008. AHDS History is pleased to announce that whilst it will close on 31 March, the History Data Service (HDS) will be re-launched on 1 April 2008, with a revamped web site.

The HDS will continue to make available its collection of over 670 different studies via the UKDA Data Catalogue. The studies cover a wide range of historical topics, from the seventh century to the twentieth century. Although the primary focus of the collection is on the UK, it also includes a significant body of cross-national and international data collections. Examples of topics covered include: nineteenth and twentieth century statistics, manuscript census records, state finance data, demographic data, mortality data, community histories, electoral history and economic indicators. The Online Historical Population Reports (Histpop) web site, which provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937, will also still be available.

Initially the new HDS will not be able to offer the same range of services as AHDS History which included advice to data creators on best practice and standards in digitising historical material and the provision of training courses in advanced historical computing methods. However, it has recently completed a survey of historians to find out what the priorities of a history-focused data service should be. This survey will provide the basis for the development plans of the service in the immediate future.