Historic droughts inventory of references from British nineteenth-century newspapers 1800-1900

Baker, H. S. and Fry, M. and Bachiller-Jareno, N. (2020). Historic droughts inventory of references from British nineteenth-century newspapers 1800-1900. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Service. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-853195

Historic Droughts was a four year (2014 – 2018), £1.5m project funded by the UK Research Councils, aiming to develop a cross-disciplinary understanding of past drought episodes that have affected the United Kingdom (UK), with a view to developing improved tools for managing droughts in future. Drought and water scarcity (DWS) events are significant threats to livelihoods and wellbeing in many countries, including the United Kingdom (UK). Parts of the UK are already water-stressed and are facing a wide range of pressures, including an expanding population and intensifying exploitation of increasingly limited water resources. In addition, many regions may become significantly drier in future due to environmental changes, all of which implies major challenges to water resource management. However, DWS events are not simply natural hazards. There are also a range of socio-economic and regulatory factors that may influence the course of droughts, such as water consumption practices and abstraction licensing regimes. Consequently, if DWS events are to be better managed, there is a need for a more detailed understanding of the links between hydrometeorological and social systems during droughts. With this research gap in mind, the Historic Droughts project aimed to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of drought from a range of different perspectives. Based on an analysis of information from a wide range of sectors (hydrometeorological, environmental, agricultural, regulatory, social and cultural), the project characterised and quantified the history of drought and water scarcity events since the late 19th century. The Historic Droughts project involved eight institutions across the UK: the British Geological Survey the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Cranfield University, the University of Exeter, HR Wallingford, Lancaster University, the Met Office, and the University of Oxford.

Data description (abstract)

Occurrences of the search term 'drought' in articles published by nine British regional and national newspapers between 1800 and 1900, with surrounding context of 10 words on each side of the search term. The following newspapers were considered: The Era; Glasgow Herald; Hampshire and Portsmouth Telegraph; Ipswich Journal; Northern Echo; Pall Mall Gazette; Reynold’s Journal; Western Mail; and The Times. None of the individual newspapers cover this entire period; a number of titles were established part way through the nineteenth century and some have missing years. The publication dates and any missing years are detailed in the supporting information. The inventory provides information regarding publication date and instances of place-names within the UK that co-occur with the search term.

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Baker H. S. University of Lancaster http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0163-0720
Fry M. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bachiller-Jareno N. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Sponsors: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Grant reference: NE/L01016X/1
Topic classification: Media, communication and language
Keywords: droughts, water scarcity, mass media coverage, newspapers
Project title: Analysis of historic drought and water scarcity in the UK: a systems-based study of drivers, impacts and their interactions
Grant holders: Jamie Hannaford, Christel Prudhomme, Matthew Fry
Project dates:
1 April 20141 April 2019
Date published: 01 Mar 2019 15:02
Last modified: 27 Nov 2020 14:19

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