Analysis of #OzHA2013

A few weeks ago I attended the 2013 annual conference of the Australian Historical Association in Wollongong.  There were many tweets from the conference and a few blogposts were written.  Yet many sessions were not reported online.

In order to give a view of the whole conference, not just the sessions I attended, I have analysed the conference program and shared the results on my history blog, Stumbling Through the Past.  I also analysed the conference tweets in order to understand more about the live reporting of the conference using this medium.

This post explains the methodology underpinning my analysis.  I do this because I believe that it is important that researchers allow themselves to be accountable for their work by allowing others to check what they have done.  I also believe that it is important that researchers share their data where possible so that other researchers can use it to do their own analysis.

There is also a third reason for this post.  I hope it will help other people learn some simple but powerful techniques that they can use in their research.  This blog is aimed at people starting out in digital humanities so the explanations will be basic. Continue reading

Delving Deeper into Trove

In my spare time over the last few weeks, I have been experimenting with the tools developed by Tim Sherratt to extract data from Australian digitised newspapers available through Trove. In a previous post I discussed how we can produce graphs showing the frequency of the use of particular words in Australian newspapers over time using Sherratt’s tools.  In this post I will look at other methods of text analysis and explain how I used Sherratt’s tools to extract a large number of articles from the Trove database and used a text analysis tool to further analyse the articles. This post is about possibilities, not conclusions.  It is a work-in-progress, so I am keen to hear your suggestions and experiences. Continue reading

Know Your Database

First published on my other blog www.stumblingpast.wordpress.com 17/4/2011

Over the last week I finally got a chance to try out the tools that Wragge (aka Tim Sherratt) has devised to mine digitised historic Australian newspapers accessed through Trove. This post is about the results of applying his tools.  If you want to do this yourself check out Wragge’s posts, Mining the Treasures of Trove (Part 1) and (Part 2). Firstly let’s look at Wragge’s graph of a topic that I have been writing about this year – floods.

Graph of the occurrence of the word "flood" in Australian newspapers, from the early 19th century to the late 1950s

Wragge has produced the graph above  showing the occurrence of the word “floods” in Australian newspapers digitised and accessible on the Trove website.  As we would expect the word is mentioned more in years when there was severe flooding such as 1893. Continue reading