Paul S Ell

Paul S Ell


  • Room 01.008 - Geography Building

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I joined Queen's University in 1993 after a Leverhulme post-doctoral post in the Department of English Local History at Leicester University. This followed undergraduate studies at the University of Keele in History and Geography with Statistics and American Studies, a Masters in English Local History at Leicester, and a PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of Birmingham. At Queen's I worked as a research fellow in the Department of Economic and Social History before moving to the School of Sociology and Social Policy as a senior research fellow. While within Sociology I became founding Director of the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis (CDDA) and moved to the new School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology

See my facebook page for more trivial information.

Over recent years the Centre has expanded at an exponential rate. I now have 10 staff, have received more than 70 grants worth in excess of £8,500,000, have a publications programme, an international conference presence, and serve on national and international committees linked to my humanities and social science research. The Centre now has a mobile digitisation unit with capacity to work on remote sites in the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America. The growth of the Centre has been marked by staff re-grading including my grading to Senior Lecturer/Reader equivalent and discretionary advances. More information on the work of the Centre can be found by following the link above. My research interests are somewhat eclectic and include historical geography, digital humanities, information management, historical maps, temporal geographical information systems, e-Science and Grid computing .

The University has identified a number of key areas of development. I, and CDDA, are directly addressing these strategic objectives.

  • Research Income I have been very successful in bringing grant income to the University. I have been awarded many grants including funding from the British Academy (BA), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nuffield Foundation, the Welcome Trust, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), the Advisory Group on Computer Graphics (AGOCG), the European Science Foundation (NSF), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Leverhulme Trust. The vast majority of my current and pending grant applications are focused on the Research Councils and related bodies. I work closely with colleagues around the University in collaborative funding bids. It is comforting that even in times where funding is restricted income continues to be secured and grant applications, whether funded or not, have very high assessment marks. Of my last five Research Council Grants all have been assessed as 'Outstanding' following peer review - the highest possible ranking of completed research.
  • Publications In the 2000 Research Assessment Exercise I submitted four books, including a key work examining the geography of the Irish Famine and a Cambridge University Press book on the geography of Victorian Religion. In the 2007 RAE I included a further Cambridge University Press monograph and three papers in journals of international standing. In addition, from 2007, I became co-editor of the new Edinburgh University Press International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing. For REF in 2013 a co-authored Indiana University Press book examining religious geographies over time in Ireland, Troubled Geographies, is in final draft and will shortly go to press. Key chapters in two ground-breaking books - The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarhship and New Directions in Local History Since Hoskins have been published. Both of these books are forward looking examining the future of humanities research and on both occasions my chapters are the concluding ones examining existing cutting-edge research and planned research over the next decade. Some of my work has been published in the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing which continues to see an exponential rise in subscriptions. A mark of the success of the Journal is that volumes due to be published in 2012 and 2013 already have papers in place. I have a co-authored paper under submission to the Journal of Historical Geography with a number of additional papers both methodological and addressing substantial historiographical issues drawing on my current funded research projects. Methodological papers in preparation focus on innovative research approaches in the humanities. Research papers currently relate to micro and macro religious geographies, place-name geographies, and examining long-term socio-economic change in England over the last millennium. The latter, if funded, will be the most ambitious research project in my career to date.
  • Internationalisation The University is geographically remote from the rest of the United Kingdom and it is important to ensure that Queen's research is represented internationally. I have an exceptionally strong international presence. I have presented more than 100 conference papers over the last nine years across six continents. I have established practical and rewarding Memorandums of Understanding with key international universities including UC Berkeley , CeRch , Academia Sinica and IUPUI . My Centre is one of the founding members of the ICT Network of Expert Centres (NoC) created to build on the legacy of the Arts and Humanities Data Service. I am an active member of the International Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, the Association of American Geographers and the Social Science History Association. I have organised a number of international workshops on GIS and digital resources at Queen's. Further in 2009 I was local host, following open competition, for the Digital Resources in the Humanities and Arts Conference, an international gathering of some 200 scholars attending Queen's to discuss the development of Digital Humanities in the future. As well as hosting more than 50 papers the Conference also made a positive financial return. It was one of the largest conferences hosted by the School for many many years In addition 2008/9 saw my Centre host three international workshops. Internationalisation is a cornerstone of my work and was also marked by the co-hosting (by Queen's University) of a major GIS Conference at Academia Sinica under the MoU in place with AS and IUPUI. In 2011 my Centre began to take a leadership role in the management of Irish Studies electronic resources through a Irish Studies e-Resources Stakeholder Workshop.
  • In 2011 I again assisted the Research Council of Norway as part of their panel of international experts assessing submissions to their Research Infrastructure Programme. I have also acted for JISC as an assessor in their Rapid Digitisation call. In March I attended the TELDAP Conference in Taiwan promoting the International Journal for Humanities and Arts Computing. As ever, several grants are currently under submission or in preparation including bids to JISC, ESRC and AHRC.

Reviewers' comments on key monographs:

K.D.M.Snell and Paul S, Ell, Rival Jerusalems: The Geography of Victorian Religion , Cambridge University Press

Now released in Paperback in late 2009.

Comments on Rival Jerusalems:

'K. D. M. Snell and Paul S. Ell have shown the way to achieve what many despaired of, chronicling important years and signs of the growth in religious pluralism with all its social consequences.' Owen Chadwick, Times Literary Supplement

'A great deal of thought and scholarship has gone into this book. The figures illustrating the text are magnificent and the bibliography leaves one stunned that so much could be condensed into one volume.' Open History

'… lucid and well organized book, which is distinguished by its excellent maps, that the sophisticated statistical techniques that are employed in it take full account of, and explore the vagaries of a set of material that emanated from a variety of local circumstances. These techniques are fully explained in text, footnotes, and appendices, but the regional emphasis, which is a strength of the book, means that its authors remain fully alert to the varieties of experience as well as behaviour that lie behind the figures, and which are as important an influence on religious life as the social and economic conditions that they also discuss.' Catholic Historical Review

'Rival Jerusalems stands out from this existing literature as by far the most important, systematic and interdisciplinary secondary analysis of the 1851 religious census to have been published … a mine of quantitative and cartographic information on … Victorian religion …'. English Historical Review

'… an apparently endless supply of fascinating and significant detail about Victorian religious practice … Anyone interested in the social history of religion will wish that they had written an even longer book … an invaluable source of information for future discussions of the decline of British Christianity because of its wealth of suggestive detail.' The Historical Journal

'… a wonderful resource …'. Journal of Rural History'… it is likely to become what it deserves to be - the authoritative work of reference on the 1851 religious census … it provides something long sought-for and needed, a thorough analysis and interpretation. Rival Jerusalems has been worth waiting for.' The Local Historian

'… an indispensable context within which local historians of Victorian religion can work.' History'… an admirable piece of work … the authors are to be congratulated … for providing such an excellent set of tools with which to begin this task …'. Journal of Ecclesiastical History

'I found this one of the most stimulating books I have read for many years … it offers a genuinely fresh perspective on English social and economic history, especially at the regional and local level … it should be essential reading from now on for anyone interested in the social, economic or population geography of Victorian England and Wales.' Local Population Studies

David A. Gatley and Paul S. Ell, Counting Heads: Britain & Ireland 1801-1871 - an ICT resource pack , Statistics for Education.

Comments on Counting Heads:

'This package is a fine resource providing an array of primary and secondary material. A great deal of labour has clearly been devoted to making these sources very much more accessible.' The Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology.

'Overall, I was tremendously excited and impressed by this package. I think the potential is huge. They may not realise it, but history teachers have been waiting for this for years.' Ben Walsh, History and ICT author/consultant, and Chair of the Historical Association Secondary Education Committee

'This well-researched and meticulously presented CD-Rom package is based on an extensive database of 19th-century censuses, in a format which is as easy to use in Year 7 as at A-level... [it] should be snapped up for history, geography, mathematics, sociology and all types of cross-curricular work.' Times Educational Supplement

'If you study 19th Century social or economic history at Key Stage 3, 4 or 5, then this pack is worth a close look. There is an amazing collection of data here, and it is presented in a way that allows you, once you get to grips with the SECOS data handling program, to easily use it as you wish. A relatively painless way to incorporate more ICT into your history lessons.' History Online

Liam Kennedy, Paul S. Ell, E.M. Crawford, L.A. Clarkson, Mapping the Great Irish Famine, An survey of the famine decades , Four Courts Press

Comments on Mapping the Famine:

'This fine book should prove most useful for practicing historians and students alike.' English Historical Review

'Mapping the Great Irish Famine is a good idea well executed, and will be of immense help to students of history . . .' Irish Emigrant

Ian N. Gregory and Paul S. Ell, Historical GIS: technologies, methodologies and scholarship , Cambridge University Press

Comments on Historical GIS:

'Gregory and Ell, both well-known in the field of HGIS, draw from their wealth of personal experience to illustrate how time can be dealt with using existing GIS software packages. As principal actors in the Great Britain HGIS project, they relay their experiences in building a national HGIS to store a vast amount of information pertaining to the national population to document its socioeconomic history. '

'It is an outstanding introduction to both the theory as well as the application of this methodology.'

'. . . geographic information systems (GIS) are a way to unlock this treasure trove. Although Gregory and Ell's book does not provide a set of keys with which to unlock that trove, it should convince the reader that this grail is worth the search and it provides an essential foundation upon which to build.'

The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the future of humanities scholarship , Indiana University Press

Comments on The Spatial Humanities:

The challenge for humanities GIS is to use technology to see, experience, and understand human behavior in all its complexity, the editors say. As in traditional humanities scholarship, the goal is less to produce an authoritative or ultimate answer than to prompt new questions, develop new perspectives, and advance new arguments or interpretations.

For example, in his chapter "GIS, e-Science, and the Humanities Grid," Paul Ell describes an online resource called the TimeMap , developed by The Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative.


Current Administrative Roles: Director of the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis

Director of the Spatial Technologies Research Forum

Director of several large research projects

Member of the Staff Training and Development research support team

External reviewer for many funding agencies

Last updated June 2011.


Community service I am an active member of the University of California at Berkeley based Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. I am the only European serving on the ECAI Management Committee. I chair the ECAI Editorial Committee which reviews electronic publications to be published by the California Digital Library. I am also British Isles Regional Team leader directing ECAI's UK and Ireland activities with around 60 scholars who have registered with the organisation. I am a member of the Historical Geography Network within the US Social Science History Association and regularly organise conference sessions for their annual meeting. I also regularly develop sessions for the Association of American Geographers. I frequently act as a referee for grant applications, and as a rapporteur at the end of grant awards, both through nominations from applicants and as an anonymous referee for the research councils. In the current RAE period, running from January 2007, I have refereed grants for British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, the Joint Information Systems Committee, the European Science Foundation, the Norwegian Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. My Centre provides advice on data digitisation to the community within Northern Ireland. We are also deeply involved in ensuring that key resources on Ireland's history and culture are preserved and made available online.I am the founder, owner and moderator of three academic e-mail discussion lists -, and History-digitisation is concerned with the application of computerisation techniques to historical sources, visualisation-tools addresses matters relating to the use of computer graphics in the social sciences, and ecai-bi supports the work of the British Isles Regional Team within the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. I also act as co-moderator for

Research Statement

Research Grants

Over the last nine years I have successfully applied for almost 80 grants worth in excess of £9,300,000. Funding has come from all of the relevant UK funders including the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Joint information Systems Committee (JISC), the British Academy (BA), the Wellcome Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, the New Opportunities Fund, the British Library Co-Operation and Partnership Programme (BLCPP), the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP), the Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency (NISRA), the Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions in the Irish Republic (PRTLI), the Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the European Science Foundation (ESF), and, in the United States, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Support has also been forthcoming from some of the leading Universities in the world to support collaborative research including the University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, Stanford University, and Academia Sinica.

  1. JISC, Digital Exposure of English Place-names, with King's College London, Nottingham University and Edinburgh University, £673,270, 2011-13.
  2. JISC, Linking Parliamentary Records through Metadata, with King's College London, the National Library of Wales, the History of Parliament Trust, and the Institute for Historical Research £138,088, 2011-12.
  3. Marc Fitch Fund, Special Project: Surnames in Ireland, £2,250, 2011-12.
  4. JISC, Old Maps Online: Finding and referencing historical mapping as a platform for research and teaching, led by the University of Portsmouth with CDDA as advisor, £139,900, 2011-12.
  5. King's College London, Enhancement of the Stormont Parliament Senate Debates, £14,867, 2011.
  6. National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Charitable Organisation Finances, £34,500, 2011-2.
  7. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Travel award to allow Professor David J Bodenhamer, Executive Director of the Polis Center, to meet with CDDA to discuss funding opportunities, $3,000, 2011.
  8. National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Charitable Organisation Finances, £64,478, 2011.
  9. University of Winchester, Data Recovery Project, £2,475, 2011.
  10. JISC, CHALICE, with King's College London and the University of Edinburgh, £68,054, 2010-11.

  11. Down County Museum, Digitisation of photographic plates, £700, 2010.

  12. PRTLI, Development of an Audio-Visual Archive, with many Universities in Ireland, €5.5 million, 2010-12

  13. Third Sector Research Centre, University of Southampton, Charity Income Analysis, £2,600, 2010.

  14. JISC, Place-Name Workshop, £5,000, 2010.

  15. JISC, OCRopodium, with King's College London, £240,353, 2009-11.

  16. National Museums Northern Ireland, Digitisation of Key Holdings, 2010-11.

  17. JISC, Spatialising Hansards, with King's College London and Edinburgh University, £69,000, 2009.
  18. European Sciene Foundation, To support attendance at a GIS Workshop, €3,000, 2009.
  19. CMC Limited/Groni, Further fundingof approximately £85,000, 2010-11.

  20. CMC Limited/GRONI, Digitisation of Birth, Deaths and Marriages, further funding, £40,000, 2010.

  21. CMC Limited/GRONI, Digitisation of Births, Deaths and Marriages, £415,000, 2009-2010.

  22. National Museums Northern Ireland, Enhanced catalogue database, £53,000, 2009.

  23. Academia Sinica, Hart Diaries Image Scanning, with Dr Richard O'Leary, £28,880, 2009.

  24. JISC, Historical Hansards: Completing the Jigsaw, £99,748, 2008-9.

  25. Goldsmiths, University of London, Belast in the Great War, £950, 2008.
  26. NISRA, Annual Demographic Reports for Northern Ireland, £1578, 2008.
  27. AHRC, Troubled Geographies: Two centuries of religious division in Ireland, £190,085, 2007-10.
  28. PRTLI, Humanities Serving Irish Society (HSIS) project, partner with the Royal Irish Academy, the University of Ulster and six of the seven Universities in the Irish Republic, total consortium funding €28,000,000, 2008-10.
  29. NEH, Context and Relationships: Ireland and Irish Studies, $349,966, 2007-9.

  30. JISC, A Digital Library of Core Resources on Ireland, £620,345, 2007-9.
  31. Academia Sinica, Workshop Funding, 2007,8,9.

  32. Institute of Library and Museum Services USA, Bringing Lives to Light: Biography in Context, with UC Berkeley, $398,427, 2007-9.

  33. Leverhulme Trust, Reconstructing the national Income of Britain and Holland, c1270/1500 to 1850, select data capture work through Warwick University, £25,000.

  34. AHRC, GIS e-Science: Developing a Roadmap, £16,000, 2006-7.

  35. ESRC, The Historical Geographical Information Systems Research Network, £14,788, 2006-8.

  36. Funding from Staff Training and Development for courses 2005 -

  37. Funding from the University Library for bespoke e-resource development, 2006 -

  38. Academia Sinica, The Hart Diaries: towards multimedia temporal GIS, £20,000, 2007-8.

  39. SEELB, Banbridge Directory Project extension, £1,000, 2007.

  40. SEELB, Banbridge Directory Project, £4,000, 2006.

  41. British Academy, Mapping the realm: English cartographic construction of fourteenth-century Britain,with colleagues in the School of Geography, QUB, 2005.
  42. JISC, Integrating Digital Library Technologies into the SAKAI Framework, with UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, AHDS and the Universities of Michigan and Liverpool, £149,678, 2005-6.
  43. British Academy, Crop yields on the Kent manors of Canterbury Cathedral Priory, c.1275-c.1375 award made to Professor BMS Campbell, £7,260 with £2,000 to CDDA, 2005.,
  44. University of Ulster, Additional computerisation of key texts in Irish, £4,000, 2005.
  45. ESRC, Crop Yields, Environmental Conditions, and Historical Change, award made to Professor BMS Campbell, £91,912 with £6,375 directly to CDDA, 2005-6.
  46. JISC, British and Commonwealth Census Project, £950,000 with AHDS History, 2004-6.
  47. University of Ulster, Digitisation of selected Irish Texts, £16,500, 2004-5.
  48. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Training in scanning technology, £2,000, 2004.
  49. Leverhulme Trust, Early Career Fellowship awarded to Dr I.N. Gregory to be based within CDDA, £47,000, 2004-6.
  50. British Academy, Mapping the Past: Computerisation of the 1676 Compton Census, £4,899, 2004.
  51. Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, Sample work on Dutch Census Volumes, £1,550, 2004.
  52. AHRB, From Partition to Direct Rule: 50 Years of Northern Irish Parliamentary Papers online, £303,330, 2003-6.
  53. British Academy, To attend and present at the 12th International Conference for Historical Geography in New Zealand, £800, 2004.
  54. St Mary's College, University of Sussex, Pilot digitisation of the Tablet, £1,450, 2003-4.
  55. Provision of training on digital archives, £1,500, 2003.
  56. La Trobe University, Australia, Digitisation of selected Indian Census materials, £4,001, 2003-4.
  57. AHRB, EPPI: Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland, 1801-1922, £290,782 with the University of Southampton, 2002-4.
  58. ESRC, A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of the Great Irish Famine, £26,416 with the Universities of Portsmouth and Essex, 2002-3.
  59. British Academy, The `new' ecclesiastical parishes in 19th-century England and Wales, £4,150 with the Universities of Portsmouth and Leicester, 2002.
  60. New Opportunities Fund Digitisation Programme via the University of Edinburgh, Digitisation of a Scottish historical gazetteer, £14,000, 2002.
  61. British Academy, An Irish time-variant historical Geographical information System - Feasibility Study, £4,951, 2002.
  62. British Academy, Completing the Jigsaw: Digitising parish level census tables for Great Britain, £4,950 with the University of Portsmouth, 2001-2
  63. New Opportunities Fund - Digitisation, A Vision of Britain through Time, £620,000 with the Universities of Portsmouth and Leeds, 2001-3.
  64. New Opportunities Fund - Digitisation, BOPCRIS, £450,000 with the Universities of Southampton and Cambridge, 2001-2.
  65. New Opportunities Fund - Digitisation, Act of Union Virtual Library, £258,180, 2001-3.
  66. AHRB via the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, Digitisation of DOST, £18,000, 2001-2.
  67. Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA), Digitisation of Irish Census Materials, £3,500, 2001.
  68. British Library Co-Operation and Partnership Programme, BOPCRIS 1688-1800, £120,000 with the BOPCRIS Consortium, 2000-1.
  69. Research Support Libraries Programme, BOPCRIS 1801-32 and 1984-1995, £87,500 with the BOPCRIS Consortium, 2000-2
  70. Norwegian Data Archive, Approaches to preservation and dissemination of large and complex datasets funding from ESF to allow a extended visit to the Archive in Bergen Norway, £1,400.
  71. Welcome Trust, Building the National Health, £164,000 with the Universities of Portsmouth and London, 2000.
  72. British Academy, To fund attendance at the Social Science History Association Annual Conference, Fort Worth USA, £342, 1999.
  73. Scottish National Dictionary Association, Development of a machine-readable version of the Scottish National Dictionary - full project, £20,000, 1999.
  74. The British Academy, Index of the statistical content of the printed British and Irish census volumes, £4,500, 1999.
  75. History Data Service, ESRC Data Archive, Image scanning of printed census records for England and Wales, £5,000, 1998. Hearth Tax Returns Project, Digitisation of Hearth Tax Returns, £3,100, 1998.
  76. ESRC Research Grant Scheme, Demographic Change and the Economy: Britain 1801-2001, £260,360 with Dr H.R. Southall, Queen Mary and Westfield College and Dr D. Dorling, University of Bristol, 1998-2000.
  77. ESRC/AGOCG A survey of visualisation techniques in the social sciences £5,000, 1998.
  78. EDINA Digitisation of the complete 1861 Census of Scotland: A case study £7,500, 1998.

Pending Grant Applications

I currently have (as of November 2011) two grants under submission to AHRC.

Comments on recent applications from reviewers include:

'Ell runs Queen's University's Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis and as his CV indicates he must be one of the most experienced individuals on academic projects relating to the digitisation of data working anywhere in the UK.'

'Given the expertise in the team, the track record with previous projects and the enthusiastic support of the whole range of partner institutions, there is every reason to believe that the proposed timetable is feasible and that the project will be completed on time.'

'This is a most impressive and timely proposal: an exemplary collaboration...'.

'This is an extremely strong application submitted by applicants who can demonstrate a proven track record of similar projects with successful outcomes.'

'There are clear deliverables and the methodology for meeting these is sound. Quantitative and qualitative success measures are referenced. The workplan is robust and straight forward.'


Recent (and planned) conference presentations

I have attended meetings and conferences on five continents including 33 of the 50 states in the US with visits to Berkeley, New Orleans, Baltimore, St Louis, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Middlebury Vermont, Fort Worth, Boston, Ann Arbor, New Haven, Santa Barbara, Merced, Fargo, Miami, Indianapolis, Washington, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Annapolis, South Bend Indiana, Bloomington Illinois, Denver, Portland, Honolulu, Stanford, Arizona, Utah, Washington State, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Norway, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Africa, Singapore, China, Taiwan, India and South Korea.

In 2012/3 I have/will attended conferences in China, Taiwan, the Czech Republic and the US togehter with numerous conferences and workshops in the UK and Ireland.

  • December 2011, PLACE project workshop, Brussels, Belgium

  • November 2011, Digital methods and tools, Lisbon, Portugal

  • October 2011, New Directions in Digitisation, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

  • July 2011, Entrepreneurial Research, Staff Training and Development, QUB

  • June 2011, Place-names, a roadmap, Nottingham, UK.

  • June 2011, Parliamentary Metadata Workshop, House of Commons, London.

  • May 2011, Crowd-sourcing in the humanities, London.

  • May 2011, Welsh place-name research and digital scholarship: opportunities and collaborations, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

  • April 2011, Place-Name Workshop at the Association of American Geographers Conference, Seattle, USA.

  • April 2011, Host of e-Irish Studies: A stakeholder workshop, Public Record Office Northern Ireland, Belfast.

  • March 2011, 'Sustaining and enhancing e-Resources, not (just) archiving: Five models for Success (or failure)', TELDAP, Taipei, Taiwan.

  • February 2011, Digital Humanities Collective Intelligence: a workshop to foster international collaboration, London.

  • January 2011, Meetings with JISC, London.

  • January 2011, Meetings with the Research Council of Norway, Oslo, Norway.

  • November 2010, Social Science History Conference, Chicago, USA.

  • September 2010, JISC Place-Name Workshop, Nottingham, UK.

  • August 2010, Digital Resources in the Humanities and Arts, London.

  • April 2010, European Social Science History Conference, Ghent, Belgium.

  • March 2010, 'Sustainability and New Collaborative Models', TELDAP International Conference, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

  • February 2010, AHRC/BT Digital Heritage Project: Landscapes, memories and cultural practices: a GIS/GPS mapping network, Lancaster University, UK.

  • February 2010,The Stormont Hansards: Digitisation and Geoparsing, KCL, London.

  • January 2010, AHRC Technical Appendix Workshop, KCL London.

  • January 2010, Digital Humanities Observatory Consultative Committee, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin

  • December 2009, ITHSMUS Workshop, Brussels, Belgium.

  • September 2009, Applying for Research Funding in the Humanities and Arts, QUB STDU Course with Professor John Thompson (English), Belfast.

  • September 2009, Invited address, 'Serendipidy and Scholarship: GIS and Urban Studies', Historical Towns Workshop, York, UK.

  • September 2009, 'A Digital Library of Core Resources on Ireland - Looking Back', DRHA, Belfast.

  • September 2009, 'The Network of Expert Centres: After AHDS', DRHA, Belfast.

  • July 2009,'Humanities Digital Deluge: Serendipity, Scholarship, Sustainability', Keynote Lecture, Digital Humanities Sumer School, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Ireland.

  • July 2009, 'E-Science and the linking and interrogating of e-resources for the local historian', Local History after Hoskins Conference, University of Leicester, UK.

  • April 2009, 'Humanities Digital Deluge: A Grid-Based Solution to Serendipity, Sustainability, and Scholarship?' International Symposium on Grid Computing (ISGC), Taiwan.

  • March 2009, 'Structure or Serendipity: e-Resource Development in Ireland, a Case Study', Computer Applications in Archaeology, Williamsburg, USA.

  • March 2009, research meetings with CMC Limited in Kolkata and Hyderabad, India.

  • February 2009, TELDAP Conference, Taiwan.

  • December 2008, Research Methods in the Humanities and Arts Workshop, Belfast.

  • November 2008, Member of the Queen's deligation including the Vice Chancellor furthering collaboration between the University and India, Kolkata, India.

  • October 2008, Long Term Change in Irish Religion 1861 - 2001, Social Science History Association, Miami, USA.

  • August 2008, Historical GIS Workshop, Session Chairs and co-PI on the ESRC Network Grant, Essex University, UK.

  • August 2008, Research meetings with IUPUI and JSTOR, Indianapolis and New York, US.

  • July 2008, Sustaining and enhancing, not (just) archiving: The Digital Library of Core Materials on Ireland and other models, JISC Innovation Conference, Keele University, UK.

  • July 2008, Irish Scholarly Resources: Digitisation, Access and Context, CNI/JISC Conference, Belfast, UK.

  • June 2008, GIS, e-Science, and the Humanities Grid, The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship: An Expert Workshop, IUPUI Indianapolis, US.

  • May 2008, Digital Resources: The view from Northern Ireland, Strategic Content Alliance Scotland Workshop, Edinburgh, UK.

  • May 2008, Irish Studies Collection Digitisation Project, Joint UK-Irish Digitisation Conference, Holywood, UK.

  • April 2008, Approaches to historical GIS in the United Kingdom, Fourth Congress of Cultural Atlases, Perth, Australia.

  • April 2008, Humanities Grid, International Symposium on Grid Computing 2008, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

  • March 2008, The Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis and collaboration with AHDS, Evidence of Value: The AHDS, the ICT Methods Network, and the use of Standards and Methods Conference, London, UK.

  • March 2008, Research meeting with JSTOR, New York, US.

  • February 2008, Chair of the European Historical GIS session, European Social Science History Association Conference, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • 2007 conferences to be updated.

  • November 2006, Social Science History Association, Minneapolis, USA.

  • August 2006, Pacific Rim Digital Librarian Alliance and Pacific Neighborhood Consortium Annual Conference, Seoul National University, Korea.

  • April 2006, Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) Conference, Fargo, North Dakota, USA.

  • April 2006, Third Cultural Atlas Congress.

  • March 2006, Association of American Geographers, Chicago, USA.

  • November 2005, Social Science History Association, Portland, USA.

  • November 2005, The challenges of the Grid in the Humanities, Pacific Neighborhood Consortium, Hawaii, USA.

  • September 2005, Founding European National Historical GIS Initiative meeting, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • September 2005, Developing national historical Geographical Information Systems, History and Computing International Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • August 2005, Cultural GIS Roadshow with presentations in London, Colchester, Edinburgh and Amsterdam.

  • July 2005, e-research, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

  • June 2005, Towards and electronic library for Ireland, Library and Information Services Council, Belfast, UK

  • June 2005, The Act of Union Virtual Library, Linen Hall Library, Belfast.

  • June 2005, research meetings, Mainz University, Germany.

  • June 2005, Applying for Research Funding Workshop, Modern Languages Queen's Belfast.

  • May 2005, Congress of Cultural Atlases, Shanghai, China. Conference Program Committee Chair, Chair of the Scholarship and Content Committee, presenter in the National Historical GIS session, Chair of the Electronic Publications Committee.

  • April 2005, Association of American Geographers, Denver, USA. In collaboration with colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Portsmouth University I organised five sessions at the conference. Each session was sponsored by the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, the Historical Geography Special Interest Group and the GIS Special Interest Group.

  • March 2005, research meetings in Taiwan and Australia.

  • February 2005, 'Research Funding in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences', workshop at Queen's University, Belfast.

  • February 2005, European Historical GIS meeting, Belfast.

  • January 2005, 'The Act of Union Project', Digitisation Workshop, Academic and National Library Training Co-operative, Belfast.

  • December 2004, 'The Act of Union Virtual Library Project demonstration', Belfast.

  • November 2004, 'Doing historical and community research using GIS', Queen's University, Belfast.

  • November 2004, 'The 1851 Census of Religious Worship: Religious geographies in Victorian Britain', in Spatial Analysis of Religion, Social Science History Association, Chicago, USA.

  • October 2004, 'Electronic cultural atlases in the classroom: SECOS and Census data', The Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) Annual Conference and Joint Meetings, Taipei, Taiwan.

  • October 2004, 'Integrating Digital Resources in Space and Time: GIS in the Arts and Humanities', The Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) Annual Conference and Joint Meetings, Taipei, Taiwan.

  • October 2004, European GIS meeting, Amsterdam, Holland.

  • September 2004, 'A Comprehensive Electronic Library for Ireland', The Long Eighteenth Century: the Physical Record, Queen's University, Belfast.

  • August 2004, 'The Past is an Undiscovered Country: New Insights Through Historical Geographical Information Systems', International Congress of Asian and North African Studies 37, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

  • July 2004, 'Data capture for a historical GISW', 2nd International Institute for GIS in the Arts and Humanities: A four day summer workshop, IUPUI, Indianapolis, USA.

  • June 2004, 'Research Funding in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences', workshop at Queen's University, Belfast.

  • May 2004, 'Building a historical GIS for Ireland: Importance and potentials', Congress of Cultural Atlases: The Human Record, UC Berkeley, USA.

  • March 2004, Association of American Geographers Conference, Philadelphia.

  • February 2004, Research meeting at the Polis Center, IUPUI, Indianapolis, USA.

  • February 2004, The Act of Union Virtual Library: a demonstration, Armagh, Northern Ireland.

  • January 2004, ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Consultation Workshop, Edinburgh, UK.

  • January 2004, The Act of Union Virtual Library: a demonstration, Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

  • December 2003, The Act of Union Virtual Library: a demonstration, Belfast.

  • December 2003, 'Strategic datasets for a Broadband age', International Association of Historical Geographers, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • December 2003, 'Irish Migration from the 'Old' to the 'New' World' problems and possibilities', International Association of Historical Geographers, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • December 2003, 'Building a historical GIS for Ireland', International Association of Historical Geographers, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • December 2003, meetings at Curtin University to discuss work on South Asia, Perth, Australia.

  • November 2003, 'Using GIS to explore historical change: examples from Britain and Ireland', Guest Lecture, Middlebury College, Vermont, USA.

  • November 2003, 'Building an Irish GIS', in National Historical Geographical Information Systems, Social Science History Association, Baltimore, USA.

  • November 2003, 'Cultural Atlases and Text based (Re)sources', The Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) Annual Conference and Joint Meetings, Bangkok, Thailand.

  • May 2003, 'From Printed Historical Census Data, to Electronic Datasets, to a Paper Atlas, to an Electronic Atlas of the Great Irish Famine', Guest Lecture at the School of Information Management and Systems, UC Berkeley, USA.

  • April 2003, 'Data creation', 14th ECAI Conference, Vienna, Austria.

  • April 2003, 'Funding Models', 14th ECAI Conference, Vienna, Austria.

  • April 2003, 'The Great Britain Historical GIS, 14th ECAI Conference, Vienna, Austria.

  • March 2003, 'Mapping the Famine', Nineteenth Century Studies Association, New Orleans, USA.

  • October 2002, Social Science History Conference, St Louis, USA.

  • September 2002, GIS in the Humanities, ECAI, University of Shimane and Osaka City University, Japan.

  • September 2002, An Irish Historical GIS, European GIS Workshop (Invitation only), Ghent, Belgium.

  • May 2002, Twelfth ECAI meeting: Global Networking of Digital Cultural Heritage, Seoul, South Korea.

  • March 2002, A British Electronic Historical Atlas, Association of American Geographers, Los Angeles, USA.

  • December 2001, Editors Executive, Pacific Neighbourhood Consortium, Guadalajara, Mexico.

  • November 2001, ECAI, Indianapolis, USA.

  • August 2001, China Historical GIS Conference, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

  • June 2001, A picture speaks a thousand words: European approaches to mapping the census through time, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, Sydney, Australia.

  • June 2001, Chair and co-author of the white paper for Historical GIS Worksession, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, Sydney, Australia.June 2001, Chair of ECAI Editors Meeting, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, Sydney, Australia.

  • May 2001, ECAI and the British Isles: Integrating 200 years of spatial data, University of California, Berkeley, USA.April 2001, Geo-Project Workshop follow on, EDINA, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

  • February 2001, The Geography of Religious Pluralism in England and Wales, Association of American Geographers, New York City, USA.

  • January 2001, CHCC Project Consultation Worshop, Royal Statistical Society, London.

  • January 2001, 'Counting Heads: the creation of the Irish and Vritish Historical Databases' in ECAI Large Quantitative Databases Work Session , Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, City University, Hong Kong, China.

  • January 2001, 'The Great Britain Historical GIS Project: current progress and future possibilities' in ECAI Plenary Session, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, City University, Hong Kong, China.

  • January 2001, Chair of Editors Retreat, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, City University, Hong Kong.

  • October 2000, Rival Jerusalems - the 1851 census of religious worship, Social Science History Association, Pittsburgh, USA.

  • October 2000, Geo-Project Workshop, History Data Service, University of Essex, England.October

  • 2000, chair of Methodological issues of GIS in historical research, Social Science History Association, Pittsburgh, USA.

  • September 2000, Creating an Historical GIS, Royal Statistical Society Annual Conference, London, England.

  • August 2000, Mapping Europe's Historic Boundaries, International Congress of Historical Sciences, Oslo, Norway.

  • June 2000, Putting the past in its place: the Great Britain Historical GIS statistical database, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, London, England.

  • June 2000, chair of British Isles Regional Team Orientation Meeting, Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative, London, England.

  • June 2000, European Historical Boundaries Workshop, Florence, Italy.

  • April 2000, Mapping the Great Irish Famine - creating an historical atlas, Association of American Geographers, Pittsburgh, USA.

  • January 2000, Historical GIS in the British Isles, Pacific Nations Consortium Annual Meeting, San Francisco, USA.

    Please contact me for a list of conference papers before 2000.


As Director of the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis my work is research focussed and teaching is not a primary part of my contract with the University. Nonetheless I teach within the School's MSc in Landscape Studies with a sub-module on GIS and Landscape Studies. I was convenor and primary lecturer on the Social Science Research and Geographical Information Systems module in the Masters in Research Methods within the School of Sociology and Social Policy. I have also developed courseware, Counting Heads, combining the spatio-temporal software SECOS with British and Irish census data in collaboration with David Gatley at Staffordshire University.

I provide regular training both within the University and externally in GIS, digitisation, and computer applications in the Arts and Humanities.

I also provide training on models to develop research proposals and secure funding. Details of both grant writing courses and GIS training are available here for the 2008/9 period.

I teach a number of workshops including an ESF funded GIS workshop in September 2009 with others at Queen's, Britain, Asia and the USA.

Finally, with the University of Lancaster and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis we are developing an international Masters in Digital Humanities and are considering a Masters in GIS.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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