Digitising the paper Panopticon

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An introduction to the emerging field of digital history, with examples taken from the Founders and Survivors project, a database of the 40,000 convicts transported to Van Diemen's Land between 1803 and 1853.

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Digitising the paper Panopticon

  1. 1. Digitising the paper panopticon Claudine Chionh University of Melbourne linux.conf.au, January 2009
  2. 2. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 1968 One can venture to prophesy, looking forward to the quantitative history of the 1980s, that in this area at least, tomorrow’s historian will have to be able to [program] a computer in order to survive.
  3. 3. Quantitative history
  4. 4. This talk ◮ ‘Digital history’ ◮ Founders and Survivors project
  5. 5. Old Bailey Online The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/
  6. 6. Founders and Survivors Transportation to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania)
  7. 7. A well-recorded population
  8. 8. A conduct register
  9. 9. ‘stealing some bread’ or: ‘administering poison to my wife on a piece of bread’
  10. 10. ‘stealing one sheep’ or: ‘bestiality with a sheep in a field’
  11. 11. Quantitative data analysis ◮ SQL ◮ Perl ◮ Python ◮ R ◮ etc.
  12. 12. XML ◮ Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) http://www.tei-c.org/ ◮ BaseX http://www.basex.org/
  13. 13. John Cozins <name> <surname>Cozins</surname> <forename>John</forename> </name> <shipName>William Metcalf</shipName> <dateArr>4/Sep/1834</dateArr> <sentencePlace>Oxford Asss</sentencePlace> <dateTrial>1/Mar/1834</dateTrial> <sentenceLength>Life</sentenceLength> <transportedFor>Beastiality</transportedFor> <reportGaol>imprisoned before, bad in every respect</reportGaol> <reportHulk>orderly</reportHulk> <marital>Single</marital> <offenceStated>having connexions with a Sheep, once for Apple Stealing 3 Months</offenceStated>
  14. 14. Mary Ann Armstrong <name>Armstrong, Mary Ann.</name> ... <remarks>Remarks. <complexion type=quot;fairquot;>Fair</complexion> <pockmarks>pockpitted</pockmarks>. <scar location=quot;nosequot;>Scar on Nose.</scar> <scar location=quot;left legquot;>Scar on left leg.</scar> </remarks>
  15. 15. Challenges ◮ Technical ◮ Social, cultural
  16. 16. Future plans ◮ Web interface to database. ◮ Parsing textual data into XML. ◮ Sharing data with genealogists. ◮ Tracing descendants of convicts (forwards) ↔ ancestors of later generations (backwards). ◮ Involvement in WWI, WWII, Vietnam . . . lives of poor/disadvantaged Australians. Like convicts, soldiers are well documented.
  17. 17. Contact claudine@chionh.org http://www.foundersandsurvivors.org/ Photo credits Jeanniot, La ligne de feu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lignedefeu16August.jpg Bread http://flickr.com/photos/jillslivingroom/2372428684/ Sheep http://flickr.com/photos/tambako/2890664794/

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