Cross National Time Series

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Humanities and Social Sciences Data Center

Numeric Data Research Guide

Scholarly Communications Center

Rutgers University Libraries

Rutgers University

About Cross National Times Series

The Cross National Time Series Database was purchased by Rutgers University Libraries for use by Rutgers faculty, staff, and students. The database was purchased from Databanks International, 13 Carhart Avenue, Binghamton, NY 13905. The Scholarly Communication Center at Rutgers University's Alexander Library has provided web-access (with permission from the vendor) to this important data source.

From Databanks International Website:
The Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive (also referred to as CNTS) offers a comprehensive listing of international and national country data facts. This database has statistical information on a range of countries, with data entries ranging from 1815 to the present. CNTS offers a comprehensive extent of variables and country facts. The information base goes back to 1815, thus giving the most complete and farthest reaching archive of demographic values.

The Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive was a product of the State University of New York (Binghamton), launched in the fall of 1968 by Arthur S. Banks under the aegis of the University's Center for Comparative Political Research (subsequently the Center for Social Analysis). The archive was, in part, the outcome of an effort initiated a year earlier to assemble, in machine readable, longitudinal format, certain of the aggregate data resources of The Statesman's Yearbook, an annual with a history of continuous publication since 1864, which had never been systematically mined for quantitative materials of potential utility for comparative social scientists. Many of the data extracted from this source proved, however to be of questionable reliability (particularly for the earlier years) and a large number of additional sources were ultimately consulted. As a result of this, The Statesman's Yearbook was subsequently abandoned as a primary source.

In establishing the archive, it was decided to assemble materials, insofar as possible, dating from 1815 (immediately after the Congress of Vienna and formation of the modern international system). It was also decided that all commonly recognized members of the international community should be represented, excluding a handful of quasi-states such as Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Vatican City. In 1977, data for the latter were also introduced, with coverage extending from 1975.

The original file was punched and stored on IBM cards, but these quickly became too numerous for efficient utilization and, in the fall of 1969, were abandoned in favor of tape storage, for which various update, listing, and extraction procedures were concurrently developed.

In January 1971, 102 of the archive's variables were presented in a volume entitled Cross-Polity Time-Series Data. For some years thereafter magnetic tape copies of the file were distributed from Binghamton. Internet access was launched in December 1997.

Copyright: Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive
Copyright (c) 1999 Arthur S. Banks
All rights reserved.

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Contact: Ken Wilson
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