The University of Edinburgh Longitudinal Study Centre – Scotland (LSCS) has received funding from the ESRC to create a multidisciplinary research database from historical vital events records. The Digitising Scotland (DS) project will digitise up to 24 million Scottish vital events record images (births, marriages and deaths) since 1856. This will allow research access to individual-level information on some 18 million individuals – a large proportion of those who have lived in Scotland since 1856. At the moment these records are kept as indexed images accessible from Scotland’s People, but this means that to extract data for research projects a researcher must first search for an individual record by name, and then manually transcribe the information they need themselves (eg cause of death, occupation, etc). This has made any large-scale research project impossible – a situation that the Digitising Scotland project will change.
The project contains 4 work packages:
- Digitising birth, marriages and death vital events records from 1856 to 1973.
- Standardising and coding occupation descriptions to the Historical International Standard Classification of Occupations (HISCO).
- Standardising and coding all deaths to International Classification of Disease – 10 (ICD-10).
- Linking address information to consistent geographies through time.