History Data Service (HDS)


The HDS collection, which is part of the UK Data Archive (UKDA), brings together over 650 separate data collections transcribed, scanned or compiled from historical sources. The studies cover a wide range of topics from the seventh century to the twentieth century. Although the primary focus of the collection is on the United Kingdom, it also includes a significant body of cross-national and international data collections. In addition, the HDS also enriches and enhances selected data collections by developing thematic special collections where there is a critical mass of related data collections. Current special collections include: Census enumerators’ books, including the entire 1881 Census for England, Wales and Scotland; Poll Books, including the Westminster Historical Database, 1749-1820; British and Irish nineteenth and twentieth century statistics, including histpop – the online historical populations reports website; wage and price time series including the European State Finance Database; local history including the Digital Library of Historical Directories, 1750-1919; and prosopography including the COEL Database: Continental Origins of English Landowners, 1066-1166.

The HDS does not have any specific APIs, although general advice to data creators is available at: http://hds.essex.ac.uk/history/create/create-advice.asp


If your research team is interested in using the HDS collection please contact Richard Deswarte, the head of HDS, at richardd@essex.ac.uk or +44(0)1206873226.

Terms of Service: 

Most of the collection is available to any user free of charge, upon registration with the UKDA, for the purposes of not-for-profit research. However, some datasets may have restrictions on access. For example, commercial usage may be restricted or permission for usage may be required from the depositor. Details are available in the ‘Access’ section of each HDS catalogue record.  General information on accessing data is available at: http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/aandp/access/login.asp#terms