Mapping Stainforth’s Publication Data, Project and Methods

In January 2017, I started working on a project to map all of the publication place data listed in Stainforth’s catalog. It took around five months, but we ended up with a draft of all the data by mid-May to begin analyzing. Using the information provided from our transcription of Stainforth’s manuscript, I was able to filter the entries to identify ones for which Stainforth provided a city of publication. Using the author, title, publication city and publication year provided by Stainforth, I turned to Worldcat to search for further information regarding publisher and/or printer name, and a country name to go with the provided city. For some the country of origin was specified in Worldcat itself, most commonly with works published in the United States, but most required further internet searching to make an inference. In the end there were around 1500 total entries for which Stainforth identified a publication place.

Once I had collected the information on all of the publication places, we wanted to create a visual representation of our dataset to begin drawing meaning from it. Kirstyn created a network analysis in Cytoscape, and I created a map of all of our publication places in Tableau. In order to get all of the latitude and longitude data for our publication cities we used Hamstermap, a free website that blew us away with it’s accuracy and reliability in producing geo-coordinates. While we are still working on creating an effective way of showing publication data over time, I was able to show on the map relative density of publications/city by filtering the colors of the markers on the map such that the places with the most activity are darker in shade.

From this we were able to visually identify outliers in our publication data that showed interesting or unexpected places that Stainforth’s collection drew from, such as Jerusalem, Antigua, parts of India and Australia, and others. Since then we have been researching the women published in our outlier cities to learn more about them, and when possible creating vignettes about their lives to highlight the work they have done.

We are not yet ready to share our data and insights derived from the project, since we are still editing and assessing our findings, but we are continually inspired by what we are learning! Kirstyn will present our results at NASSR 2017 in Ottawa this August.


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