Created on Feb 24th, 2020

Click here to get started or read the introduction below!

#Introduction Central to history is the world of work in the past, as known by occupational activities. Yet comparative research in this field is severely hampered by confusion regarding occupational terminology across time and space, within as well as between languages. To overcome this, we create an occupational information system that is both internationaland historical, and simultaneously links to existing classifications used for present-day conditions. The information system uses a historical international classification of occupations (HISCO) to combine various kinds of information on their tasks and duties in historical settings, as well as images on the history of work. Moreover it provides information on rankings of occupations (HISCAM) and we aim for other resources in the future. Not just occupational scales and measures, but also depictions and occupational descriptions available through images and texts.

For questions please contact richard.zijdeman AT iisg.nl.



This is your workbench for historical occupations as all graphs from the historyOfWork are combined here. This version is dated Feb 2021. Use this dataset to retrieve HISCO and HISCAM scores for an incredible amount of occupations in numerous languages.

Data can be queried (obtained) via the SPARQL endpoint or via the example queries.

Figure 1. Part of model illustrating the basic relation between occupations, schema.org and HISCO.

Figure 2. Part of model illustrating the relation between occupation, provenance and HISCO auxiliary variables.

In the query below we use so called API variables. They are convenient you can simply enter a value for language or occupational string. And by definition allow for automated queries over API.

Uses data from History of work (all graph datasets) by HistoryOfWork


The History of Work is a well known website created in the early 2000's to highlight HISCO and various datatsets that had been coded into HISCO as part of a unprecedented international initiative by more than a dozen institutes to align occupational activities across time and space.

Today, numerous others datasets have been donated to this cause and various measures (HISCAM, SOCPO, HISCLASS) have been build on top of HISCO. Moreover, other historical occupational classifications and measures have emerged, such as OCCHISCO and PST.

Here, we provide information on how to gain access to all of the resources we received from the community and that we provide as Linked Open Data.

Read the full story

This query shows how, in a given language, to find a string (word) that is part of an occupational title. The query shows two filters. The first is for language. You can change "nl" into any other language tags, such as "se" for Swedish. By altering the regex command you can determine whether the string should be exact match or match from the beginning of the word, or other matching variant.

Uses data from History of work (all graph datasets) by HistoryOfWork

I have been working with Dutch occupational data for over a decade and have seen various studies on women's work from ca. 1600 onwards. I am not aware that these projects have presented lists of their occupations as a 'product'. One reason for that is that the whole idea of FAIR data (especially reuse) is only beginning to sink in. But even when trying to be FAIR, there is only so much time, and people choose to invest time in publications over time invested in data, as the latter is not valued in the academic career track.

There are though, across the world, various exceptions to the rule. Basically, these exceptions are bigger datasets, such as IPUMS or Historical Sample of the Netherlands, that in addition to providing respectively census and civil registry data, also provide, what I call, auxiliary files. These are data files of entities such as places and occupations that provide on the one hand the raw archival entry and on the other hand a cleaned and standardized representation. E.g. for places in the Netherlands they would contain the Amsterdam Code and for occupations they are presented with the HISCO code. For some time now, I have been trying to gather various datasets across the world that contain these lists of occupations and their coded standards, (I call this collection 'job hoard'), and provide them as Linked Open Data as part of the History of Work collection at the International Institute of Social History (IISG).

Read the full story
4.697.472 statements

This is the latest dataset (feb 2021) that contains coded occupations (e.g. HISCO) that have been donated by the community.

16.257 statements

Latest release (feb 2021) of the graph of the HISCO structure. NB: this graph just contains the HISCO structure, not any coded occupations.

79.421 statements

Current version HISCAM 1.3.1 Feb 2021. HISCAM scales as per Lambert et al 2013. Indicate 'high' and 'low' positions of occupations for various time periods and countries. Here provided as Linked Open Data. Please cite us when using this data.