Britain was the birthplace of the world’s first industrial revolution, but there remains much still to understand about its broader human, social and cultural consequences. By harnessing the potential of digitised archives, and developing innovative statistical methods and tools, this project will open new avenues for historical inquiry. The insights from these investigations will provide the vital context for present-day debates on human-computer interaction, the future of work, and the social consequences of AI-driven automation.

Explaining the science

This project brings together national-scale digital collections and data, advanced data science techniques, and fundamental humanities questions. The project exploits a corpus of digitised sources, such as newspapers, trade directories, census data, and patents, as well as other resources yet to be digitised (the unstamped press, trade press, business archives, and autobiographies).
The project name is both a reference to the impact of the industrial revolution and a nod to the impact of computational methods on scholarship. It will entail interdisciplinary exchanges among historians, data scientists, geographers, computational linguists, and curators to enable new intersections between computational methods and historical inquiry.