Gathering decent-sized economic history datasets requires learning by doing and making good choices about the tools of the trade. It’s a craft.
Over time, as your skills improve, and as the technology itself becomes better and smoother, new challenges are much more easily handled, and what’s learned can be rolled out, and adapted, and improved, as you tackle more ‘difficult’ datasets.
I’ve converged on a process of data capture which is simple in outline, applied to various datasets to date, and which I continually adapt. I illustrate it in the image above, for the 18th century Irish fiscal dataset previewed here, but it holds good for much else I’ve tackled.