[Apologies for cross-posting]

The Great Britain Historical GIS at the University of Portsmouth is 
pleased to announce the award of a grant of Pnds 398,700 (about $US 
785,000) by the Joint Information Systems Committee for a two year 
project titled "Historic Boundaries of Britain: Constituencies and 
Elections, 1832-1974".

The project will create a series of digital maps recording the 
boundaries of Britain's parliamentary constituencies before the First 
Reform Act of 1832; after the 1832 Act; after the Second Reform Act 
of 1867; and after the Representation of the Peoples Acts of 1884, 
1918, 1928 and 1948; in other words, a complete sequence of political 
maps up to the period covered by modern computer mapping. We will 
also be creating digital boundaries for the system of hundreds, 
wapentakes, boroughs etc as they were recorded by the 1831/2 Boundary 
Commission, and improving our coverage of 20th century Scottish boundaries.

These digital boundaries will be made available through Edinburgh 
University's UKBORDERS system, essentially completing their holdings 
of historic boundaries, and through AHDS History. They will also be 
used to support a major new theme, "Political Life", within our 
"Vision of Britain through Time" web site, which will include 
detailed electoral data for most of the 19th and 20th centuries:  the 
numbers of votes for each party in each constituency at each election.

This project marks a return to our earlier work mapping boundaries, 
but this time we will also be scanning and geo-referencing not just 
the constituency maps but administrative area maps, including a large 
collection obtained from the Office of National Statistics when they 
moved out of St Catharine's House.

Lastly, JISC will be funding a general spruce-up for the Vision of 
Britain site, including a new server and the development of 
associated teaching materials.  We would be interested to hear ideas 
for how the site should be changed. NB we are fairly happy with the 
present "look and feel", and want to spend the available funding on 
improving how the site works rather than on a completely new graphic design.

Sixteen new digitisation projects have received funding today, but we 
are the only mapping-based one.  More details are available here:

Of course, most of the results of this will not be visible until the 
spring of 2009. For now, our general web site is at:

and the Vision of Britain site is at:

Incidentally, more than two years after the launch usage is still 
rising, and this month looks certain to be the first month the site 
exceeds 60,000 unique users. To be involved in more detailed 
discussion of the new project, join the [log in to unmask] mailing 
list. Contact the project via [log in to unmask]

Humphrey Southall