Data Critiques

  • Data Critiques

    Data Critique Assignment: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission Book Records (American Philosophical Society Library)

    The data set from Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania available from the American Philosophical Society Library contains information retrieved from the admissions ledgers for prisoners admitted to the penitentiary between April 24, 1830 and May 24, 1843. The collection description from the American Philosophical Society Library indicates that the records from which this data set are derived were recorded upon a prisoner’s admission into ESP.

  • Data Critiques

    Data Critique: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology – Online Collections

    This data set contains detailed information on objects in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology online collections. The orginial data set contained over 12,500 objects from the early modern period, for the purpose of this critique assignment appromixately 770 objects from the data set were anaylized using WTFcsv.

  • Data Critiques

    Data Critique: Eastern State Penitentiary Admission Book

    The data set we analyzed was that of the Eastern State Penitentiary admission books. The books listed the admission of the incoming prisoners by name and other features such as their age, ethnicity, religion, job, birth place, prisoner number, admission date, sentencing location, offense, length of sentence, number of convictions and general notes. The data describes the inmates imprisoned at Eastern State Penitentiary from the years 1832- 1868. While the data was collected in one specific region the original homelands of the inmates covers a large geographic area demonstrating the changing demographic in the industrial age. For example, imprisoned are not only people from the local area, but from countries such as Holland, Germany and Ireland. The data provided lacks much of the context needed to understand the sentencing procedure. Some were sentenced to a year for forgery, while another was sentenced to 10 years for the same offence, likewise others who committed a seemingly minor offence were given more time than those who committed murder.

  • Data Critiques

    Data Critique: Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Voyages Database

    by Tyson Luneau and Kristian Price

    The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Voyages Database includes records of 36,002 voyages which engaged in the sale and purchase of African slaves. The recorded voyages in the database begin as early as 1514, with the last voyage occurring in 1866. There is no one distinctive, geographic pattern of these voyages, with ships traveling between Africa, Europe, and the Americas, occasionally not traveling between continents but rather from colony to colony, avoiding the middle passage altogether. Some of the voyages identified did not even contain slaves on the ship, as the captain and crew simply returned to their original ports. While some of these instances could be considered statistical outliers, it nonetheless reflects the diversity of data within the dataset.

  • Assignments,  Data Critiques

    Data Critique Assignment

    Due: Tuesday February 12

    Approx. 500 words.

    Select one sample data set. You may optionally complete this assignment in a team of two.

    Your post should explain what information is in your dataset, what kind of events, people, or phenomena your dataset describes, and what it cannot describe.  You might use or a spreadsheet filter to get an idea of what kind of data you’re working with.  What is the scope of your data temporally, geographically, in number of records, or in other dimensions?

    As best you’re able to determine, you should also describe how the data was generated, what the original sources were, how the data was collected, and how your data is divided.  What is an individual record row?  How is the data divided into columns and why?  If this dataset were your only source, what kind of information would be left out?

    Your team should complete this assignment by creating a post in the “Data Critiques” category. If you complete this assignment as a team, each team member needs to do a team assignment evaluation.

    Adapted from Miriam Posner’s Data Critique.