Interactive Record Linkage:
The Cumulative Construction of Life Courses

Eli Fure

Date Received:10 October 2000
Date Published:12 December 2000

In order to carry out demographic analyses at individual and group levels, a manual method of linking individual event records from parish registers was developed in the late 1950s. In order to save time and to work with larger areas than small parishes, systems for automatic record linkage were developed a couple of decades later. A third method, an interactive record linkage, named Demolink, has been developed even more recently. The main new feature of the method is the possibility of linking from more than two historical sources simultaneously. This improves the process of sorting out which events belong to which individual life courses. This paper discusses how Demolink was used for record linkage in a large Norwegian parish for the period 1801-1878.

Author's affiliation:
Eli Fure
National Archives of Norway

Table of Contents:
1.    Introduction
2.    Demolink Compared to Automatic and Manual Systems
3.    The Data Material and the Demolink System
4.    Record Linking Strategy
5.    Dealing with Errors in the Sources
6.    Linkage Criteria
7.    Linkage Results
8.    Time Requirements of the Linking Process
9.    Concluding Remarks
10.    Acknowledgements

Keywords: history, Norway, Record linkage

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Word count: 7,155


Interactive Record Linkage: The Cumulative Construction of Life Courses
Eli Fure
© 2000 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ISSN 1435-9871