Digitising and Providing Access to Socio-Medical Case Records: The Case of George Brown's Work


  • Louise Corti ESDS Qualidata
  • Nadeem Ahmad ESDS Qualidata




socio-medical research, digitisation, data access, archiving, George Brown, depression, qualitative data, secondary analysis, Qualidata


In March 1999, Qualidata secured a grant from George BROWN, via the Medical Research Council to undertake the preparation, scanning, documentation and archiving of data and documentation from the lifetime research of Professor George BROWN. The research, comprising a very large resource of both qualitative and quantitative materials, dates back to the 1960s and is considered, internationally, to be among the most pioneering work on socio-economic aspects of mental health and the social aetiology of depression. It has already been in regular use for many years, both for ongoing research and for teaching purposes. In this paper we will describe: the logistics of conducting and managing the huge task of scanning the paper-based materials; tying this in with the quantitative data; and documenting the data in order to make them a useful resource for researchers. Because the data are very sensitive we also mention ways of enabling the most appropriate access. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs000368


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Author Biographies

Louise Corti, ESDS Qualidata

Louise CORTI is currently the Deputy Director and Manager of Qualidata, the ESRC Qualitative Data Archival Resource Centre, based at Essex. In January 2001 she will be taking up the post of Director of User Services of the UK Data Archive, where alongside the duties of that role, she will retain an overall responsibility for qualitative data archives. In the past she has taught sociology, social research methods and statistics, and spent six years working on the design, implementation and analysis of the British Household Panel Study at the University of Essex. She is interested in both qualitative and quantitative aspects of social research.

Nadeem Ahmad, ESDS Qualidata

Nadeem AHMAD works at the UK Data Archive and Qualidata both based at the University of Essex, where he has taken a key technical role in the George Brown project. His current research interests lie in the digitisation of paper resources, the work of George Brown and children's rights (in fostering and adoption). He has previously co-authored the publications "The UK Record Industry" and "Rock Accounts" based on annual surveys.




How to Cite

Corti, L., & Ahmad, N. (2000). Digitising and Providing Access to Socio-Medical Case Records: The Case of George Brown’s Work. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-1.3.1023



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