Kevin Schürer (Essex Data Archive, UK)

Contact details:

The Data Archive,
University of Essex,
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester,
Essex CO4 3SQ UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1206 872001

Fax: +44 (0) 1206 872003




Kevin Schürer studied both history and geography as an undergraduate and graduate, obtaining a PhD from the University of London. He then moved to the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge, where he developed a number of interests in historical demography and the history of the family. He served as an Assistant Director of the Essex Data Archive from January 1993 to July 1996, combining this job with part-time academic posts, first at the University of Cambridge, then latterly with the History Department at the University of Essex. After leaving the Data Archive in 1996 he continued his teaching and research in the History Department at Essex. In February 2000 he rejoined the Data Archive as its Director. He was also appointed to a Chair in the Department of History at the University of Essex.

He is President and Publications Officer of the International Association for History and Computing.


'History on the Internet and in the global village' in The culture of European history in the 21st century (Bonn, Nicolai, 1999), pp.237-246

`Geschicte im Internet und im "global village"' in Europäische geschichtskultur im 21. jahrhundert (Bonn, Nicolai, 1999), pp.252-261

'Computing opportunities in family and community history' in M. Drake and R. Finnegan eds Sources and Methods: A Handbook. Studying Family and Community History, 19th and 20th Centuries, Volume 4, (Cambridge, 1994, revised 2nd edition, 1997).

'Researching the population history of England' in C. Harvey and J. Press eds Databases in historical research, (London, 1996).

'The role of the family in the process of migration' in C. G. Pooley and I. D. Whyte eds Migrants, emigrants and immigrants: a social history of migration, (Routledge, 1991).

'Codes and the Historical Researcher: Slave and master or master and slave?' in E. Mawdsley, N. J. Morgan, L. R. Richmond and R. H. Trainor eds History and Computing III, (Manchester University Press, 1990).

'Artificial Intelligence and the Historian: prospects and possibilities' in J. C. Gardin and J. R. Ennals eds Artificial Intelligence in the Humanities, (London, British Library, 1990).

Current Research

Kevin Schurer's current research focuses around the activities of the Historical Censuses and Social Surveys Research Group of which he is Director. This research group developed from an earlier Leverhulme-funded project which aimed to create a computerised nineteenth-century census collection linked to an historic parish-based Geographical Information System. The core of this was formed by the machine-readable transcription of the 1881 census enumerators' books created by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) in conjunction with the Federation of Family History Societies, covering all of the approximately 25 million inhabitants enumerated in England and Wales. More recently the two per cent sample of the 1851 British census has been cleaned, enriched and prepared for comparative analysis. Both of these datasets are available from the Data Archive?tm)s History Data Service.

Utilising this large-scale body of historical data, the Research Group has developed (and continues to develop) a number of intellectually distinct, yet inter-related projects. Work currently underway includes research on patterns of employment and occupation structure in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in order to provide an historical perspective to the ESRC?tm)s Future of Work programme, as well as work on isonomy and the geographical distribution of surnames in 1881 and 1996 for a interactive display for the Science Museum?tm)s new Millennium Wing.

Professor Schurer has a book on the fertility transition in England and Wales forthcoming with Cambridge University Press and is currently writing a book on the family in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century England and Wales. He has also published various articles on migration, household structure, and the application of computer techniques to historical research.

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