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Dr Harry Smith

Dr Harry Smith

  • Academics

Research Associate

Research subject areas

  • History
  • Geography

Contact details


I trained as a social and economic historian at the University of Oxford but have since then worked in Geography departments on historical geography projects at Cambridge and Kingston. I have mainly worked on the economic history of Britain during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My primary interest is in the economic and other constraints that restricted individual life courses in the past. I have previously worked on the history of professions and entrepreneurs, what caused individuals to enter the professions or start a business, whether they remained in such occupations during their lives and how those occupations shaped their lives, paying particular attention to their demographic behaviour and the occupational mobility of their children. I currently work on the Wellcome Trust-funded project ‘Addressing Health: Morbidity, Mortality and Occupational Health in the Victorian and Edwardian Post Office;’ considering the history of occupational health, and in general I am interested in historical demography and epidemiology. I have tended to address these topics through the use of large datasets, including the British and Irish censuses, parish records and probate data. I also make extensive use of GIS software in seeking to understand how individual’s experiences of economic and social constraints varied between different places.


  • Morbidity and Mortality in Britain and Ireland, 1850-1950
  • Social and Economic History of Occupations in Britain, 1800-1950, especially professions and entrepreneurs
  • Urban history of Britain and Ireland
  • Quantitative and GIS methods