Good research is like solving a jigsaw puzzle – the right combination of theory, method and evidence and a careful reading of historical context is needed to answer questions such as: Did the Married Women’s Property Acts change inheritance practice and distribute wealth toward women? When did regional inequality first become important in Canada and how has it contributed to the patterns of immigration and emigration? Did economic growth before 1914 undermine physical well-being across the British Empire, and were the effects felt equally across social and racial divides? When did obesity begin to increase? And why?
I am especially excited to direct the University of Guelph’s Historical Data Research Unit, which has digitized a number of sources needed to answer such questions including manuscript data from historical census enumerations, longitudinal data created from linked sources, military personnel records from across the British Empire, and admission records from a growing number of Canadian prisons and jails.