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SSNE Development

A forum on how we can put the data within the SSNE database to use within historical and genealogical research.

SSNE Development

Postby sm117 » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:35 am

SSNE Database, Archive and Web Portal

Professor Steve Murdoch (ISHR, University of St Andrews)
Dr Alexia Grosjean (ISHR, University of St Andrews)
Mr Duncan Davidson (University of Edinburgh)

Since 1998, we have worked on the creation and the sustaining of this online biographical database. This database is a free public access database that has the benefit of being constantly updated as new archival material came to light.

The project to develop the database secured significant AHRB funding for development and input from various other awards bodies. Over the last few years we drew conclusion that we should not simply remount the database at St Andrews, but to develop a web portal that will significantly enhance the capability of the SSNE as a research tool.

We hope to develop a Web Portal which would enhance the research capabilities in the following ways: At present when a user looks up a biographical entry they are presented with a number of hits that match the criteria typed in. Thus if the criteria was <Spence>, <James>, <Sweden>, <1625>, several individuals of that name may be presented. The principle behind the portal would do so much more than that.

At present there are numerous online biographical databases and digital archives freely available to the general public. An excellent example of this is currently being run is the Oxenstierna Project hosted by the National Archives of Sweden and may be tested at:

Once there follow links to 'Editorial Work', then to 'Letters of James Spens' and see what is available. Other sources include the online digital archives hosted by the National Archives of Norway:

These two are chosen as they are directly relevant to the SSNE Database. We also intend to test an interrogation of online archival catalogues such as that hosted by the National Archives of Scotland:

The purpose of the Web Portal would be to interrogate such online resources for information relating to the same search criteria applied by the interrogator. Thus, when a user applied the criteria <Spence>, <James>, <Sweden>, <1625> to the SSNE hosted by St Andrews, the Web Portal would be searching for all resources containing related information. The user would then be notified by an icon appearing on the database which they could then follow to check the information provided. Similarly, suppose a user of the digital archive calls up a document mentioning the same criteria. The Web Portal would detect the relevant records from the database and flag up to the distant user that a biography of their target exists online. Likewise, they could follow the icon back to the SSNE.

In order to ensure this system works we must find both funding and research partners willing to help develop this tool.

A second strand of development is hopefull going to be the addition of an in house digital archive that the Web Portal would also search , thus allowing researchers to explore the numerous documents the authors of SSNE hold relating to many of the subjects contained in the database.

A third strand of potential development would be the development of software to allow the full integration of the database with a GIS package to allow us to map the movement of the subjects over time.

All of the above will only be developed if funding for the project(s) can be secured and we would be interested in any ideas.

Steve, Alexia and Duncan
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:52 pm

Re: SSNE Development

Postby fx.gustin » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:55 am


If I want to see a document referred as SSNE 177, what should I do?

Thank you very much.

FX Gustin
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:59 am

Re: SSNE Development

Postby sm117 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:23 pm

Hi - is it on ID number 177? Which document? Give me the specifics and if I have it in my digital archive I will copy and send to you via email.
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:52 pm

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