Pue’s index

By Juliana Adelman

In honor of the students now flooding back to Irish universities and the forthcoming budget controversies, I thought I would do a little history maths.  I will not rule out the possibility that I forgot to carry a ‘1’ somewhere, so if you spot an error please tell me and I will correct it.  In case you are unfamiliar with Harper’s Index, from which this idea is lifted, it is a list of statistics published by that literary magazine which juxtaposes surprising facts.  I have not tried to be nearly so clever.

Number of English language books published in 2009 with ‘history’ as the subject in the British Library online catalogue: 9770

Percentage increase from 1959: +2042.5%

Percentage decrease from 1999: -47.6%

Number of visitors to the National Archives of Ireland reading room in 1971: 1,754

Number in 1996 and 2006, respectively: 20,155; 16,455

Percentage of the annual budget of the National Library of Ireland spent on collections in 2008: 20.57%

Percentage of the annual budget of the British Library spent on ‘growing and managing’ collections in 2008: 50.5%

Number of third level students in all institutions funded by the HEA in the Republic of Ireland in 1988/9: 60,747

Number of third level students in all institutions funded by the HEA in the Republic of Ireland in 2003/4: 133,887

Number of part and full time students receiving a degree in ‘History and archaeology’ at an Irish university in 2003/4: 156*

Number in 2008/9: 365*

Number of PhDs in ‘History and archaeology’ awarded in Ireland 2008/9: 48

PhDs in ‘History and archaeology’ awarded to men and women, respectively: 30, 18

Undergrad degrees in ‘History and archaeology’ awarded to men and women, respectively: 177, 188*

Sources: British Library online catalogue, National Archives of Ireland report of the director for 2006, National Library of Ireland financial statement for 2008, British Library financial report for 2008, Higher Education Authority of Ireland statistics. *These stats do not seem to include NUIG as their combined arts degrees are not separated out by subject in the tables.

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