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The main aim of the Historical Population Database of Transylvania (HPDT) project is to build the first historical database of Transylvania’s population, covering the period 1850-1914 (from the first modern census to the limit of vital registration research allowed by Romanian Law), meeting the most advanced international standards in the field: the Intermediate Data Structure (IDS).

The project will cover 5-10% of the population of Transylvania during the period studied (ca. 5.4 million births).

The Database will be connected to existing similar databases in Europe and North America, linking the research conducted on population in Romania to the current effort of reconstructing Europe’s population.

The project is based on the collaboration between the Centre for Population Studies—Babeş-Bolyai University (CPS-BBU) and the Norwegian Historical Data Centre—University of Tromsø (NHDC-UT).

The project was developed within the EEA Research Programmes, in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities, under the objectives: to stimulate interdisciplinary research, to increase the society’s capacity to cope with demographic change and cultural diversity, to strengthen capacity and human resources development.

The project is highly innovative for Romanian research and for any type of historical database used in Romania so far. This is the first project of its kind in Romania.

The project duration is 36 months (2014-2017); the project is funded with 650.000 euro.

The Project Core Objectives

Constructing the first historical population database for the territory of Transylvania (1850-1914) and ensuring its proper functioning in the long run.

Contribution, at the national level, to reconsidering the role of historical information on the population and the prospects it opens at the socio-economic level.

Strengthen the links between population research conducted in Romania and the current European effort of population and family reconstruction.

The validation of the HPDT in the Central-East European scientific space as a benchmark of excellence in research practices.


Expected Results

  • Comparative catalogue of the sources necessary for the database construction.
  • E-book of the catalogue of the sources.
  • The repository of sources
  • A cross-language toponomastic catalogue
  • An onomaastic catalogue
  • The central HPDT database
  • The HPDT IDS-compatible database for general researchThe genealogical excerpt of the HPDT central database
  • Methodological study on specific problems in building large historical population databases in Central and Eastern Europe
  • The website hosting the genealogical interface of HPDT


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