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Great Britain Historical Database Online Documentation

The Great Britain Historical database (GBH) provides a large integrated database of geographically-located historical statistics for Great Britain, mainly drawn from the period 1851-1939. It is integrated in the sense that a large amount of work has gone into integrating the referencing of spatial units within the system and, where practical, into assembling data from different dates into single tables.

Up-to-date, complete documentation is included for those parts of the GBH Database which have already been incorporated in the on-line collection. When additional data becomes available on-line, the documentation wil be updated and users will be alerted through our webpages and mailing lists. Please note that work on the GBH Database at formerly Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London and now at the University of Portsmouth is ongoing. Therefore a short delay has to be anticipated for the inclusion in the HDS collection of suitable new additions to the GBH Database.

The documentation provided here does not reflect the present state of the still expanding GBH Database at the University of Portsmouth. Please consult their GBH Database Home Page for further information.

This documentation is based on a guide which was originally prepared for internal use at QMW. It aims to provide a fairly formal description of the tables making up the database. The description of each table includes the name, type and an indication of the contents of each field in the tables, and explains how the table was constructed from the original source and how creators and depositors have dealt with special cases. Some information has been included on the checking procedures followed to locate any mistakes made during data entry. References are provided to published studies based on the database.

The current online documentation includes:

  1. Great Britain Historical Database Introduction

  2. Study 3960 - Census Statistics: Collections, 1861

  3. Study 4017 - Census Statistics: Employment, 1841 - 1931

  4. Study 4018 - Census Statistics: Demography, 1841 - 1911

  5. Study 4019 - Vital Statistics: Mortality, 1851 - 1910

  6. Study 4020 - Vital Statistics: Marriage, 1841 - 1870

  7. Study 4023 - Trade Union Statistics, 1851 - 1918

  8. Study 4024 - Poor Law Statistics, 1859 - 1939

  9. Study 4025 - Small Debt Statistics, 1847 -1913


(c) Humphrey Southall, David Gilbert and Ian Gregory, 1996.

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