Scottish Historic Population Platform (SHiPP)

In this research strand we aim to create a research ready database based on the Scottish civil registration certificates, births deaths and marriages, between 1855 and 1973.

Lead: Professor Chris Dibben, University of Edinburgh 

To achieve this, we will develop and apply novel linkage techniques to link these historical certificates with the objective of reconstructing individuals’ life courses and generating family pedigrees. We also aim to link these certificates to the National Records for Scotland (NRS) Population Spine, which in turn will allow linkage to other administrative datasets. The resulting database will be called the Scottish Historic Population Platform (SHiPP).

Once developed, the SHiPP database will be the first of its kind in the UK, and will be comparable to those already established in Scandinavia and beyond, such as the Swedish Demographic Data Base (DDB), the Historical Population Registers in Norway, the Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN) and the Utah Population Database (UPDB).

The construction of the SHiPP database will not only allow historical longitudinal demographic research to be carried out at individual-level, but additionally will enable an exploration of the condition of the present Scottish population within the context of their families through multiple generations of micro-data.

When the SHiPP database has been developed and the data is research-ready (no earlier than 2025) , this webpage will be updated to provide details of the process for researchers to request access to the data.

If you would like to be notified when the data is available please email the SHiPP team at Please note that we will adhere to SCADR's Privacy Statement when communicating with interested parties.

SHiPP Technical Programme Manager: Sarah Hodge