Data collections by subject held at the UK Data Archive

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 1956 UKDA by subject
  • Dates of Creation
      1945- [ongoing]
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      Electronic data ranging in size dependant upon dataset and format.
      Data are usually available in a number of formats including SPSS, STATA and ASCII tab-delimited and can usually be converted to other formats such as SAS. Documentation is primarily supplied in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.Documentation is primarily supplied in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Scope and Content

The UK Data Archive houses several thousand datasets of interest to researchers in all sectors and from many different disciplines. Quantitative data primarily consists of survey data (coded numerical responses), and includes cross-sectional, repeated and longitudinal/panel data. Some aggregate data is also held. Data includes both historical and contemporary quantitative and qualitative data covering a large range of subjects that cover, amongst others, economics, education, employment and labour, industry and management, health, time use, travel and transport, political behaviour and attitudes, time use, and population and vital statistics. This record excludes historical (pre-1945) data which will be covered under a separate Archives Hub record.

The 'Finding Aids' section of this record provides information about finding data held at the UK Data Archive by subject.

Administrative / Biographical History

The UK Data Archive is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Higher Education Funding Councils and the University of Essex.

The UK Data Archive at the University of Essex houses the largest collection of accessible digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1967, it is a national resource centre, disseminating data throughout the United Kingdom and, by arrangement with other national archives, internationally. It is an umbrella organisation which also houses Qualidata - Qualitative Data Service and the History Data Service, part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) and JISC.


Component studies of data series are held and supplied separately, usually as annual or quarterly datasets.

Access Information

Available to UK Data Archive registered users.

Acquisition Information

Datasets are deposited in the UK Data Archive from a variety of sources, from academic researchers, government departments, independent research institutes and market research organisations.

Academic research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is an important source of data, as the council operates a mandatory Datasets Policy whereby all award holders are expected to offer data to the UKDA for archiving. Examples of large-scale ESRC datasets are the British Social Attitudes Survey (BSAS), the British Election Studies (BES) and the British Household Panel Study (BHPS).

Censuses and large surveys carried out by governments for their own policy purposes are particularly rich sources of data for further exploration. Central government, and in particular, National Statistics (NS) is a major and regular supplier of data series, including the General Household Survey (GHS), the Labour Force Survey (LFS), and the Health Survey for England (HSE).


Sources for the information in this record include the UK Data Archive web site and catalogue records.

Record created by Karen Dennison, UK Data Archive.

Other Finding Aids

UK Data Archive web pages:

The Browse by Subject web page allows users to search according to pre-defined subjects.

Each catalogue record contains a list of 'Assigned Subject Keywords' covering all topics included in the data. The keywords are taken from a controlled vocabulary list held in the UKDA thesaurus, HASSET. Users can select 'Assigned Subject Keywords' from the drop down list and type in a keyword via the Search Catalogue web page.

Users can also conduct a thesaurus-aided search using the HASSET Thesaurus.

Conditions Governing Use

Users are required to agree to certain conditions of use, including those governing reproduction and those relating to citation, acknowledgement and disclaimer for publications.

Appraisal Information

All datasets available from the UK Data Archive have been reviewed by an Acquisitions Review Committee.


Supply of major data series is ongoing.

Related Material

In each UK Data Archive catalogue record related datasets also held at the UK Data Archive are listed.


References and publications by principal investigators and resulting from secondary analysis are listed in the UK Data Archive online catalogue records. Publications and / or statistics are often available from the web sites of the relevant data creator(s).

Corporate Names