Geoparsing History: Locating Commodities in Ten Million Pages of Nineteenth-Century Sources

Jim Clifford, Beatrice Alex, Colin Coates, Ewan Klein, Andrew Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In the Trading Consequences project, historians, computational linguists and computer scientists collaborated to develop a text mining system that extracts information from a vast amount of digitized published English-language sources from the “long nineteenth century” (1789 to 1914). The project focused on identifying relationships within the texts between commodities, geographical locations and dates. We explain the methodology, uses and the limitations of applying digital humanities techniques to historical research and argue that interdisciplinary approaches are critically important in addressing the technical challenges that arise. We believe that collaborative teamwork of the kind described here has considerable potential to produce further advances in the large-scale analysis of historical documents. Key Words: Digital history, Text Mining, Geoparsing, Commodities, British world
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-131
Number of pages27
JournalHistorical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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