Tag Archives: Connected Histories

Royal-baby

Royal birth expected to boost public interest in unique historical resource

The birth of the Royal baby is expected to spark a surge of interest in Connected Histories, as users explore how royal births and their reception have changed throughout history.

Developed collaboratively with the University of Sheffield’s Humanities Research Institute (HRI), Connected Histories brings together 22 digital resources related to early, modern and 19th century Britain.

The search engine allows researchers to collect and share important sources for British history in one place, showing up unexpected connections and surprising parallels, whether from 19thcentury newspapers, the records of courts and parliaments, or drawings. It also allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates.

The project, funded by Jisc, an organisation which champions the use of digital technologies in education and research, is a partnership between the University of Sheffield, the University of Hertfordshire, the Institute of Historical Research and the University of London.

The University of Sheffield’s HRI developed and maintains the search engine which drives the Connected Histories website, comprising around 30 billion items of data which have been analysed using language algorithms to facilitate searching by keyword, person name, place and date.

A search for terms related to ‘royal births’ highlights a wealth of information drawn from historical sources across British history, revealing changes in medical practices, celebrations and cultural behaviours.

Highlights include:

Professor Bob Shoemaker, Director of Research at the University of Sheffield’s Department of History, said: “The significance of events like this lies in large part in the long historical tradition in which they are situated. By providing unprecedented access to an extraordinarily rich collection of documents, Connected Histories revolutionizes the possibilities for anyone interested in history to find out more about our fascinating past.”

See the full article on the University news feed.

Image: Proof of an illustration to G.Abbott a Beckett, ‘Comic History of Britain’, 1847