University Logo  


Ian Gregory

Professor of Digital Humanities

BA: Geography (Lancaster); MSc: Geographical Information Systems (Edinburgh); PhD: Historical GIS (London)

Department of History
Lancaster University
Lancaster, LA1 4YT, UK

Room: B144, Bowland
Tel: +44 (0)1524 594967
Fax: +44 (0)1524 846102

I am a geographer by training who, after doing an MSc in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Edinburgh, got a one-year contract at Queen Mary, University of London working to create a GIS of some nineteenth century administrative data. Somehow this evolved into the Great Britain Historical GIS (GBHGIS), a major database that comprises the majority of statistical data from sources such as the census and vital registration data for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It was also the subject of my PhD. Since leaving London I worked at the University of Portsmouth and then as the Associate Director of Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at the Queens University, Belfast. In September 2006 I moved to Lancaster where I work in Digital Humanities.

Research interests:

1. The use of conventional Historical GIS techniques to study long-term change in Britain and Ireland in particular through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

2. Using GIS to explore textual sources, especially large corpora, through the combined use of geo-parsing, spatial analysis and corpus linguistics techniques.

3. Developing an understanding of what GIS has to offer to the humanities and developing the use of these technologies in disciplines including history and literary studies.

4. Using digital technologies across the humanities and social sciences to gain a better understanding of the past.

Digital Humanities:

I lead Lancaster’s work on digital humanities which draws together the university’s expertise in Spatial Humanities (see below) and corpus linguistics. For more on this, including a list of the projects we are undertaking and opportunities for post-graduate study see the Lancaster Digital Humanities website.

Spatial Humanities:

I am involved in a number of projects that are concerned with what has become known as ‘Spatial Humanities’, a field that is concerned with using geographical technologies to better understand the geographies of our history and culture. Projects I have been involved in include:

  • Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS, Places (ERC funded)
  • Geospatial Innovations in the Digital Humanities: A deep map of the English Lake District (the Leverhulme Trust)
  • Great War Lancaster: Streets of Mourning and Community Memory (Heritage Lottery Fund)
  • Reassembling the Republic of Letters (COST)
  • Troubled Geographies: Two centuries of religious division in Ireland (funded by the AHRC/ESRC's Religion & Society programme)
  • Mapping the Lakes (British Academy funded)
  • Recent publications:


    Journal articles:

    Book chapters:

    Conference proceedings and other publications:

    Journal editions:

    Media interest:

    Keynote and plenary presentations:

    Current and recently completed grants and funded research:

    Back to Staff List