Research

Useful resources for census research

March 28, 2011 1521

Sunday was census research day. Here are some recommended resources from the LSE Library for finding out more
The BBC has some good starting points. Listen to this online recording about the odd occupations recorded over the years- find out who referred to local women as ‘man traps!’
Here are some more academic resources!

Personal records.
These starting points focus mainly upon individual household and personal records. Students wishing to engage in large scale data queries are advised to use the resources listed below in the census data section.
National Archives
Offers a searchable catalogue of census records from 1801-1911 plus guides to research using the census. Note that online access to most transcripts requires payment. References to record offices which may offer free access are indicated on the website.

Office of National Statistics
Website provides basic information on the history, content and collection of the census. It also links to recent population statistics.

ScotlandsPeople
Official website maintained in association between General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland. Contains a searchable catalogue of census materials from 1841 onwards. The site offers free access to a selection of records from famous Scottish people, plus detailed guides on finding and using archives. Topics covered include: understanding record entries and deciphering old handwriting.

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
Covers census information in Northern Ireland. Website provides information on where and how to trace historical materials

Statistical Data
Census.ac.uk
Home of the ESRC Census Programme, managed by the Economic and Social Research Council. A key starting point for academic researchers offering guidance on how to find and access census related datasets. This includes microdata, aggregate statistics and boundary data. The site links to handy online guides, training events, major census related projects and research groups. Datasets from 1971 onwards can be downloaded (subject to registration requirements) by members of the UK educational community.

Census Teaching and Learning materials
Developed for the UK HE community as part of a publically funded project. Access tutorials, and case studies designed to support students and lecturers new to using census materials.

Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR)
A specialist research body based at the University of Manchester that plays a key role in developing and disseminating Samples of Anonymised Records (SARs) from the British Census. Website provides free access to news, events listing and the full text of recent working and conference papers. It is possible to register to get access to some anonymised data from 1991 onwards

Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR) collection
Provides online access to the complete population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937. In addition to the census; the site also contains enumerator’s notebooks, essays from historians which set the materials in context and bibliographies to guide further reading.

In addition. Printed copies of Uk census are held inthe LSE Library at 42 (HA161)Abstract of the answers and returns made pursuant to an act …for taking an account of the population of Great Britain…etc. Historical Statistics Collection 42 (HA161) for the years 1801-1841, and continuing with the full set of census publications from 1851 onwards.

International

IPUMS-International(Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, International)
World’s largest international collection of microlevel (household/ individual) census data
Currently housed at the Minnesota Population Center. Find information and access data variables from 100s of censuses conducted worldwide since 1960. It is possible to create and download data extracts free of charge after registration. The site also has a good listing of when individual nations conducted censuses (post 1960).

United Nations Statistics Division.
Has a specialist demographic and social statistics section which is an excellent starting point for tracing news and information about population censuses being held worldwide. It includes links to the websites of national statistical offices plus a useful census Knowledge base The latter is a repository of information (guidelines, articles and documents) relating to the conduct, management and enumeration of censuses worldwide. It covers both theory and case studies relating to specific recent censuses.

Finally did you know that the LSE Library has extensive holdings of overseas censuses.
Overseas collections.Extensive collections in Europe for France, Italy, Spain
Asia – India beginning with the Report on the census of British India, taken on the 17th February, 1881 at 54 (HA161)
Africa coverage strongest in terms of former commonwealth countries, Kenya, South Africa.
USA extensive coverage from 1840 onwards.
Australia 1901-
New Zealand 1861-
Ireland 1659

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