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I had an idea for a project, and I was wondering if there was a dataset somewhere that contained records of historical events - possibly with their start and end dates, the name of the event, and other metadata associations (like country, etc). Basically, the stuff you'd find in a history book, but in discrete values.

Can anyone point me to such a dataset, as a seed for my project? Or would something like this have to be created from scratch?

  • Sounds certain to require some combining work on your part, but fwiw this is a terrific idea. – Eric Mill Mar 22 '14 at 16:01
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An application that uses a dataset like this one is Day Like Today from the OKFN Greek chapter. It makes use of DBpedia and retrieves information from Wikipedia infoboxes. For example dates of wars, deaths of popular persons etc.

Thus, I do not know a database that you can download and use, but you can use DBpedia to retrieve historical events from Wikipedia.

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GDELT Project also can be relevant:

GDELT Project monitors the world's broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country in over 100 languages and identifies the people, locations, organizations, counts, themes, sources, and events driving our global society every second of every day, creating a free open platform for computing on the entire world.

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I am working on such a discrete modelling of events from the Italian Renaissance, based chiefly on the contemporary diary of Luca Landucci and various letters and accounts by figures like Michelangelo, Leonardo, etc.

The underlying model is built on the Neo4j graph database and in ASP.NET MVC (C#) with KnockoutJS.

http://the-codex.net/

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