Announcing Death by Numbers Beta

RRCHNM is excited to announce the formal beta launch of the Death by Numbers database. There’s over a year left to go in the project and we’re still hard at work adding data to the database and building our first visualizations, so don’t be surprised at how large some of the gaps are in the dataset. But we wanted to go public and give our audience a chance to provide feedback on what we’ve created so far.

Using the DataScribe module for Omeka S, the Death by Numbers project aims to transcribe and publish the information in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century London Bills of Mortality in a dataset suitable for computational analysis. We are then using the Bills of Mortality to investigate how lived experiences of plague outbreaks intersected with an emerging quantitative mentality among the people of early modern England. The project also supports a variety of student research projects that follow the interests of members of the project team.


If you want to dive right into the graphical user interface for our database, it’s now publicly available at

If you’d rather download our data as CSVs, you can click the data link in the header to go to our GitHub, where you’ll also find our parish shapefiles. 

Want to directly access our API instead? The instructions are at


If you’re interested in reading more about the project, check out our newly redesigned blog (built in Hugo to ensure its long term sustainability) which has all our old posts accessible via chronological scrolling or tags in the sidebar of this page. Some great posts to get started on include:

Got Feedback?

If you find any problems with our beta site, we’d love to hear about it! We have open issue tracking at and you’re welcome to open an issue to let us know if something’s gone wonky. If you do open an issue, please let us know the device type, operating system, browser and browser version that you’re using, to help us track down the bugs.


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