Project team

The project is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, the History of Parliament Trust, the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, King’s College London, and the University of Toronto.

Principal Investigator – Chris Cochrane

Christopher Cochrane is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto-Scarborough. He studies the patterns of party policy and public opinion in Canada and other Western democratic countries. His primary research focuses on the nature and evolution of left/right ideological disagreement.


Co-Investigator – Graeme Hirst (University of Toronto)

Graeme is Professor of Computational Linguistics in the Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. His research on applied natural language processing includes text classification, lexical semantics, discourse analysis, and their application in literary studies, social sciences, and health and medicine.


Post-doctoral researcher – Kaspar Beelen (University of Toronto)

Kaspar Beelen obtained his Ph.D. in political history at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. His research interests include parliamentary culture, political representation, party formation and ideology. Kaspar focuses on quantitative text analysis and its application to the study of historical and political phenomena.

Researcher – Nona Naderi (University of Toronto)

Nona Naderi is currently a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. She obtained her Master’s degree in Computer Science from Concordia University, with a thesis on the automated extraction and semantic analysis of the protein mutation impacts and related information from full-text research papers. Her research interests include discourse processing and semantic analysis.


Principal Investigator – Jane Winters (Institute of Historical Research, University of London)

Jane is Professor of Digital History and Head of Publications at the Institute of Historical Research. She is responsible for the IHR’s publishing and scholarly communications strategy, including a range of digital research projects, journals and bibliographic tools. She is currently involved with three big data projects, ranging from medieval sources to 21st-century web archives.

Co-Investigator – Richard Gartner (King’s College London)

Richard Gartner is a lecturer who has specialised in the field of digital libraries and electronic information provision for over 20 years. Before joining academia he was a librarian, specialising in new media and metadata. He was Principal Investigator on the LIPARM (Linking the Parliamentary Record through Metadata) project which devised a method for linking together components of the Parliamentary record and forms the foundation on which the methods used in DiLiPaD are based.

Project Manager – Jonathan Blaney (Institute of Historical Research, University of London)

Jonathan started out as a lexicographer and then moved to the Bodleian Library to work on the encoding of historical texts. At the IHR he has mostly worked on British History Online.


Technical Developer – Martin Steer (Institute of Historical Research, University of London)

Marty is the Institute of Historical Research website manager. Having previously worked in Educational Technology and Digital Publications at the Australian School of Business (UNSW), he now works on the suite of IHR Digital projects, including the History of Parliament Online, British History Online and the Records of London’s Livery Companies, and enjoys (yes!) systematic data publication, information processing, and adventure gaming.


Postdoctoral Fellow – Luke Blaxill (University of Oxford)

Dr. Luke Blaxill is junior research fellow in modern history at Hertford College, University of Oxford. He is a modern British political historian specialising in parliamentary and extra-parliamentary language and communication, completing a PhD on the subject in 2012 at King’s College London. His ‘Quantifying the Language of British Politics, 1880-1910’, published in Historical Research in 2013 (and his other essays) represents some of the first scholarship to employ text mining methodologies in political history, a field where they have been remarkably absent. Luke also was a research assistant at the Centre for E-Research during 2005-6, and the History of Parliament Trust from 2006-2010.


Academic Adviser – Paul Seaward (History of Parliament Trust)

Dr Paul Seaward has been Director of the History of Parliament since 2001, following a career as a clerk in the House of Commons. A historian of seventeenth century English politics and political thought, he has also written on the history of Parliament in the twentieth century. He is a Director of, the European organisation linking institutes specialising in parliamentary history, and on the Direction of the International Commission of the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions. He has had a long-standing interest in the digitisation of parliamentary material since working with British History Online on the journals of the House of Commons and the House of Lords in 2002-4.


Principal Investigator – Maarten Marx (University of Amsterdam)

Maarten Marx (1964) obtained his master in political science (1990) and his PhD in mathematical logic (1995), both at the University of Amsterdam. He (co)-authored 3 books and more than 75 scientific articles. His current research interest is integration of large amounts of semi-structured, text-centric, data.

Co-Investigator – Jaap Kamps (Amsterdam University)

Jaap Kamps is an associate professor of information retrieval at the University of Amsterdam’s iSchool, PI of a stream of large research projects on information access funded by NWO and the EU, member of the ACM SIG-IR executive committee, organizer of evaluation efforts at TREC and CLEF, and a prolific organizer of conferences and workshops.  His research interests span all facets of information storage and retrieval
— from user-centric to system-centric, and from basic research to applied research. A common element is the combination of textual information with additional structure, such as document structure, Web-link structure, and/or contextual information, such as meta-data, anchors, tags, clicks, or profiles.