Incorporating historical information into the design and analysis of a new clinical trial has been the subject of much discussion as a way to increase the feasibility of trials in situations where patients are difficult to recruit. The best method to include this data is not yet clear, especially in the case when few historical studies are available. This paper looks at the power prior technique afresh in a binomial setting and examines some previously unexamined properties, such as Box P values, bias, and coverage. Additionally, it proposes an empirical Bayes-type approach to estimating the prior weight parameter by marginal likelihood. This estimate has advantages over previously criticised methods in that it varies commensurably with differences in the historical and current data and can choose weights near 1 when the data are similar enough. Fully Bayesian approaches are also considered. An analysis of the operating characteristics shows that the adaptive methods work well and that the various approaches have different strengths and weaknesses.