Other Events


In addition to two workshops per year, the LSE Historical Economic Demography group hosts additional events. In the 2023-24 academic year, these will include a launch event for members to get to know one another, a workshop on census linking in the British context, a series of seminars on computer vision and automatic record transcription, and discussion groups around important new papers in the field. The group will also co-sponsor Eric Schneider’s inaugural lecture in November. 


HED Group Launch Event (3 October 2023)

The HED Group launched with an event on 3rd October (LSE Lecture Theatre, Centre Building. 6pm). The event included an introduction to the group's plans, 3-minute presentations from group members on their current research, and a reception for people to get to know one another.

Eric Schneider's Inaugural Lecture (16 November 2023)

Eric Schneider will give his inaugural lecture Trends and determinants of global child malnutrition: what can we learn from history? on Thursday 16th November at 6.30pm.  More information is available here.

Seminars on computer vision and automatic record transcription

Aurelius Noble, organiser

The seminars will cover a basic introduction to the application of data science methods to economic history. In particular, it will focus on automated data collection, transcription, and labelling. Advances in this field have made it possible for researchers to rapidly transcribe and annotate millions of documents.  The seminars will provide a broad introduction to the field: web-scraping, automated transcription using machine learning, and natural language processing. The main focus will be on transcription. Namely, how to use computer vision to transcribe a variety of historical documents: from printed directories, to tables, to handwritten documents. The seminars will contain a theoretical overview of: the state of the field, central concepts, pipelines and tools. They will also incorporate a brief workshop demonstrating some basic implementations of these tools in Python.

The sessions are as follows:

• Transkribus, with Sara Mansutti (Transkribus), 5th March (Tuesday), 12:00-13:30pm, Online.

• Automatic Transcription in Python I, Printed Documents, with Aurelius Noble (LSE), 8th March (Friday), 14:00-17:00

• Automatic Transcription in Python II, Handwritten Documents, with Aurelius Noble (LSE), 10th May (Friday), 14:00-17:00 

To sign up, please contact Aurelius Noble at A.J.Noble@lse.ac.uk

HED Reading Group

The HED Group holds a termly reading group where we discuss a general interest paper that contributes methodologically or intellectually to our understanding of historical economic demography. Eric Schneider chairs the group, but the sessions start with a PhD student and a faculty member summarising and commenting on the paper respectively.  The papers for this academic year (2023-24) are posted below, and past reading group paper subjects are available here.

  • Spring Term - midday, Tuesday 11 June 2024 (KSW 101):

    Clarke, D., Jaña, M. L., & Pailañir, D. (2023). The use of quantile methods in economic history. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History56(2), 115–132. doi: 10.1080/01615440.2023.2198272

    Faculty: Andy Seltzer
    Student: Luisa Bicalho-Ritzkat

A list of past reading group topics can be found here.

Epstein Lecture - 7 March 2024, 6.30pm

This year's Epstein Lecture will be delivered by James Feigenbaum, Boston University on the theme: 217 million census records: evidence from linked census data, in which he will show how new historical census sources and advances in record linking technology, allow economic historians to become big data genealogists.

For more information, including how to attend, can be found here.