Associate Professor Barbara Revuelta-Eugercios presenting Link-Lives in Pecs. Foto: Samantha N. Aagaard
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A warm welcome to Link-Lives at ESHD in Pécs, 2019

On June 26, a group of 10 eager Link-Lives participants representing all partner institutions travelled to Pécs in Hungary to participate in the Third European Society for Historical Demography Conference (ESHD).

With a goal to spread the news about our newly started project and to gain new insights, knowledge and inspiration from historical demographic projects elsewhere around Europe the conference did not disappoint.

A hot affair

Not only the 10 of us had travelled all the way to Pécs, so had the European summer heat apparently too. The conference days became a hot affair to endure with no air-conditioning on the top floors of the University of Pécs. Luckily, the conference program not only supplied information about the different sessions but also worked wonders as a fan.

In the midst of the summer heat Professor Anne Løkke and Archivist and Associate Professor Barbara Revuelta-Eugercios, respectively, presented each a paper on behalf of Link-Lives entitled “Link-Lives: a Danish historical population project” and “Skipping to the front of the line: the importance of crowdsourcing as a precondition for a new Danish longitudinal population database (the Link-Lives project)”. Both papers and the Link-Lives project in general received much attention and many European colleagues expressed their enthusiasm for the creation of a Danish population database that will present new possibilities for research in history, demography and mortality.

Inspiration from abroad

At the conference, we were excited to learn more about Digitising Scotland’s linkage approaches using families, the progress that our Norwegian colleagues are experiencing combining machine learning and image recognition, the different but yet similar ways in which archives and genealogists collaborate in the Netherlands and share the challenges that many other newcomers experience entering the world of large-scale historical databases.

During our stay in Pécs, the working group also met up with the members of the Advisory Board to present and discuss the status and future plans of the development of the Link-Lives project. In the meeting, it became clear what huge potential there is in a collaboration between the demographic projects around Europe and not only for Link-Lives but all contributing institutions. We have all much to gain from knowledge sharing.

On Saturday June 29, it was time to head back home again after three days filled with new insights, knowledge and not least historical demography.