The aim of the project is to pull together existing knowledge on epidemic outbreaks in Europe between the late medieval times and the dawn of the industrial age in order to get a better grasp of the spread dynamics of epidemic disease in preindustrial Europe and of the prevelance of epidemics in different regions of Europe at different points in time.
We plan to achieve this aim, in the first step, by digitising all the epidemic catalogues available to us into OCR files and extracting basic information on outbreaks into csv format (creating a single, composite csv file with geotemporal information from all catalogues - this file is our JenaHEDE database). In the second step, we will apply to this dataset a machine learning algorithm in the form of a Bayesian app, WAVESapp, developed for this purpose on the basis of the IsoMemo Apps platform (to be ready in early 2023). The WAVESapp will connect single geotemporal records - local/regional outbreaks - into epidemic waves and will provide every place in Europe with a changing “epidemic probability” across time.
In the future, this database could be used to create a more comprehensive database containing source quotation and based on a quality check of the old catalogues.
Chronological range: ~1300-1800 CE.
Geographical range: Europe and the neighbouring regions.