Designing databases for historical research (free course)

Abstract

This free module provides an overview of important concepts both in terms of the historical data that might be used in databases and in terms of the design process. The module takes the form of a handbook, broken down into chapter headings and acts as the preliminary module for the Building and using databases for historical research online course.

Course details

This free module provides an introduction to designing databases for use in historical research.  Through the use of a handbook, divided into chapters, it provides an overview of important concepts – both historical in nature and in terms of database design – that the historian will need to consider before embarking upon designing a database.  The module also provides a number of starting points for overcoming certain design problems that specifically affect historians when they come to wrestle their sources into a database.

The module was written by Dr Mark Merry, the primary tutor for Databases for Historians I; Databases for Historians II and acts as the preliminary module for the Building and using databases for historical research online course.

The handbook is broken down into the following chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. Sources, information and data
  3. Fundamentals of database design
  4. Relationships
  5. Entity relationship modelling
  6. Problems facing the historian
  7. Conclusion