Humphrey Southall (Portsmouth Univ., UK)

Contact details:

Department of Geography, Portsmouth University,
Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace,

Tel: +44 (23) 92 842500



Although my research has always been historical, my career has been within the academic discipline of geography. I graduated in geography from the University of Cambridge in 1976 and then spent a year as a Special Student in economics at Harvard University in the U.S., before returning to Cambridge as a research student. In 1979 I was appointed to a lectureship in geography at Queen Mary College, University of London. I obtained my Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1984, on the subject of ‘Regional Unemployment Patterns in Britain, 1851-1914: a study of the "Trade Union Percentages", with special reference to engineering workers’. At the start of 2000, I became a Reader in Geography at the University of Portsmouth, on England’s south coast.

I currently hold a Research Fellowship from the Economic and Social Research Council, and during 2001 I will be a Visiting Fellow at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge. I am a member of the Advisory Committee for the History Data Service based at the University of Essex, and of the UK Office of National Statistics 2001 Census Academic Advisory Group.

Selected Publications:

H.R. Southall, ‘The Origins of the Depressed Areas: Unemployment, Growth, and Regional Economic Structure in Britain before 1914’, Economic History Review, 2nd series, Vol. 41 (1988), pp. 236-258.

H.R. Southall, ‘The tramping artisan revisits: labour mobility and economic distress in early Victorian England’, Economic History Review, 2nd series, Vol. 44 (1991), pp. 272-96.

D.M.Gilbert and H.R.Southall, ‘Les Multiples Dimensions de la Misere: les manifestations de la pauvrette d’origine economique en Grande-Bretagne, a la fin de la periode Victoriene’, (‘Dimensions of Distress: Manifestations of economic hardship in late Victorian Britain’) in M. Mansfield, R.Salais and N.Whiteside (eds.) Aux sources du chomage (Editions Bélin, Paris, 1994), pp.213-50.

A.Charlesworth, D.M.Gilbert, A.Randall, H.R.Southall, and C.J.Wrigley, An Atlas of Industrial Protest, 1750-1985 (Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1996).

H.R.Southall, ‘Agitate! Agitate! Organise!: Political travellers and the construction of a national politics, 1839-1880’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, vol.21 (1996), pp.177-93.

I.N. Gregory and H.R. Southall, ‘Putting the Past in Its Place: the Great Britain Historical GIS’, in Carver, S (ed.) Innovations in GIS 5 (Taylor & Francis, London, 1998), pp.210-21.

Humphrey Southall: Current Research

I am Director of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project, which began in 1994 and has had a very complex funding history. It currently employs five staff and five IT trainees. Our goals are:

Personal Research:

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