May 16, 2022

Research Tools: University of Pittsburgh Releases Online Database Containing 125 Years of U.S. Infectious Surveillance Disease Data

From the Project Tycho Website:

After four years of data digitization and processing, the Project Tycho Web site provides open access to newly digitized and integrated data from the entire 125 years history of United States weekly nationally notifiable disease surveillance data since 1888. These data can now be used by scientists, decision makers, investors, and the general public for any purpose. The Project Tycho aim is to advance the availability and use of public health data for science and decision making in public health, leading to better programs and more efficient control of diseases.

From The Washington Post

Organizers of the effort dubbed it Project Tycho, after 16th-century Danish nobleman Tycho Brahe, whose astronomical observations laid the groundwork for Johannes Kepler to derive the laws of planetary motion. Likewise, Burke said he hopes that the existence of the digitized infectious disease records will spur a wave of life-saving research and that other researchers find uses for the database that its creators never even imagined. “The excitement is that this is going to be a rich data source for discovering patterns in epidemiology,” he said.

Direct to Project Tycho

There is an API available.

Worth Noting: The lead programmer of Project Tycho, Anne Cross, has a library science degree.

Overview Video

Tutorial Video

See Also: Pitt researchers publish a century’s worth of data on contagious diseases (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.