Legislation Big Data

06 February 2014

The National Archives has received big data funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to support two new projects; developing the way we understand and use current legislation, and revolutionising how individuals can be identified across large digital historical datasets.

Transforming the study of UK law

Funding of just over £550,000 will support the 'Big Data for Law' project. For the first time ever, researchers will have the kit required to map and interrogate vast amounts of current legislation - estimated to be at least 50 million words, with over 100,000 words added or changed every month.

Exploring historical datasets

A second grant also worth just over £550,000 will support the 'Traces through Time' project. This will enable the development of practical analytical tools to support historical research on the scale of entire populations, spanning over 500 years of British history.

Clem Brohier, Acting Chief Executive at The National Archives, said: 'This is an exciting time for The National Archives. Both of these projects will transform how we use and research large datasets. "Big Data for Law" is set to transform legislation, providing new open data, new tools and new methodologies specific to law. The "Traces Through Time" project will enable historic data to be explored in ways that were not imagined when the records were created.'

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