Magazine article School Librarian

A Vision of Britain through Time

Magazine article School Librarian

A Vision of Britain through Time

Article excerpt

http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/

A Vision of Britain Through Time presents a vision of Britain between 1801 and 2001, including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions.

The Great Britain Historical Geographical Information System is a digital collection of information about places in Britain which, pieced together, provides snapshots of change over periods of time and provides the data for A Vision of Britain Through Time. Information is drawn from census reports, historical gazetteers, travel writing and historic maps. Created by members of staff based in the Department of Geography at the University of Portsmouth, this online resource was extended and made available to everyone via this website with funding from JISC and the National Lottery.

Starting at the Home page, a range of options are set out along the top to lead to the content: Places for a place name search with expert search option; Statistical atlas organised into themes; Historical maps from OS First series 18051958; Census reports covering statistics from 1801-1961; Travel writing from an historical point of view with snippets from travellers, artisans and agitators in what is described as the largest collection of this type on the world wide web; Learning zone providing e-tutorials and Data Access where statistics can be downloaded, most of which are freely available to use under Creative Commons licensing.

In order to search for an area this is best tackled from the home page search box using a postcode or place name. Searching for York, I was able to find data grouped into nine themes: population, social structure, agriculture and land use, work and poverty, housing, life and death, learning and language, industry and roots and religion. Comparisons are made against England (or England and Wales) as a whole, where appropriate, and commentaries are provided to give some social context and help make sense of the statistics, such as when changes were made in the questions that were originally used for the surveys. …

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