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Economic historians use major data sets, especially those collected by governments since the 1920s. Historians of slavery have used census data, sales receipts and price information to reconstruct the economic history of slavery.
Content analysis is a technique borrowed from journalism research whereby newspapers, magazines or similar sources are numerically coded according to a standardized list of topics. [Neuendorf, The Content Analysis Guidebook (2002)]
Quantifiers study topics like voting behavior of groups in elections, the roll call behavior of legislators, public opinion distribution, and the occurrence rate of wars and legislation. 'Collective biography uses standardized information on a large group to deduce patterns of thought and behavior.
New social history
The "new social historians" (new in the 1960s) use census data and other data sets to study entire populations. Topics include demographic issues such as population growth rates, rates of birth, death, marriage and disease, occupational and education distributions, and migrations and population changes.
An especially challenging technique is linking names ("nominal record linkage") of the same person whose information appears in multiple source such as censuses, city directories, employment files and voting registration lists.
Aydelotte, William O., Allan G. Bogue, and Robert William Fogel, eds. The Dimensions of Quantitative Research in History (Princeton University Press, 1972). Essays by leading pioneers with case studies in the social, political, and economic development of the United States, France, and Great Britain.
Clubb, Jerome M., Erik W. Austin, and Gordon W. Kirk, Jr. The Process of Historical Inquiry: Everyday Lives of Working Americans (Columbia University Press, 1989). Uses case study of American textile workers in 1888-90
Clubb, J. M., and E. K. Scheuch (eds.) Historical Sozial Research: The Use of Historical and Process-Produced Data, Stuttgart 1980, European emphasis
Dollar, Charles, and Richard Jensen. Historian's Guide to Statistics, (Holt, 1971; Krieger 1973); detailed textbook of quantitative political and social history with bibliography
Fogel, Robert William and G. R. Elton, Which Road to the Past: Two Views of History (Yale University Press, 1983). Debate over merits.
Haskins, Loren and Kirk Jeffrey. Understanding Quantitative History (M.I.T. Press, 1990). textbook
Hollingsworth, T.H. Historical Demography. Hodder & , London 1969
Hudson, Pat. History by Numbers: An Introduction to Quantitative Approaches (Arnold, 2000). Comprehensive textbook; examples drawn mainly from British sources.
Jarausch, Konrad H. and Kenneth A. Hardy, Quantitative Methods for Historians: A Guide to Research, Data, and Statistics (University of North Carolina Press, 1991). textbook
Kousser, J.M., "History QUASSHed: quantitative social scientific history." American Behavioral Scientist 23(1980), p. 885-904
Lorwin, Val R. and. J. M. Price, ed. The Dimensions of the Past: Materials, Problems and Opportunities for Quantitative Work in History, Yale UP 1972
Kimberly A. Neuendorf. The Content Analysis Guidebook (2002)
Rowney, D.K., (ed.) Quantitative History: Selected Readings in the Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data, 1969
Swierenga, Robert P., ed. Quantification in American History: Theory and Research (Atheneum, 1970). Early essays on methodology, and examples of political, economic, and social history.
Wrigley, E.A. (ed.) Identifying People in the Past. Edward Arnold, 1973. Using demographic and census data