University of Hertfordshire

Dr Pieter Francois

Pieter Francois

Dr Pieter Francois

Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom


I am a Senior Lecturer in Digital History at the University of Hertfordshire. I am also the director of the Cliodynamics Lab ( and a member of the Digital History Research Centre ( At the University of Oxford I hold an honorary appointment as Research Coordinator of the Cultural Evolution Group at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology.



A first strand of my research interests focuses on change over long time scales, i.e. from the end of the Neolitic until today, by combining cultural evolutionary theory with Big Data. In 2011 I co-founded, together with Professor Peter Turchin (UConn) and Professor Harvey Whitehouse (University of Oxford), the Seshat: Global History Databank project ( which since then has attracted several large grants and which has transformed the study of the longue durée.



A second strand of my research focuses on digital history, especially nineteenth-century history. I am especially interested in the study of travel, migration and demography. One of my projects, the Sample Generator for Digitized Texts (, won the 2013 international British Library Labs competition. 



To see the staff pages of my History colleagues click here





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