Deciphering Census Records

As part of the new Digital History course offered through the History Department at Messiah College, we recently devoted time to transcribe names of Harrisburg citizens from the 1900 census records.  My fellow classmates have discussed earlier just how tedious and hard it is to transcribe these census records.  After spending countless hours transcribing and … Continue reading Deciphering Census Records

The Eighth Ward and the City Beautiful Movement

We have recently wrapped up our work digitizing the 1900 census for Harrisburg and are focusing on creating our Omeka exhibits. However, while we were still digitizing the census it was easy to notice a few connections to the City Beautiful Movement, and therefore to our Omeka exhibits. For example, some students have encountered the … Continue reading The Eighth Ward and the City Beautiful Movement

A Glimpse at a Past People

In our Digital History class, we devoted many hours to our City Social project. Certainly all students and faculty have spent many hours with the data. Whether its been plugging in thousands of segments of information, checking for mistakes on both the original census and the new data for our spreadsheets, peer reviewing fellow students' data, … Continue reading A Glimpse at a Past People

From City Social to City Beautiful

As many students have already posted, our Digital History class is currently working on two different projects related to the history of Harrisburg and its past residents, which are “City Social” and “City Beautiful”. Each of these projects is our way of getting to know more about this city and its history. The first project … Continue reading From City Social to City Beautiful

What Can We Extrapolate?

For those that have been keeping up with our posts, you probably have noticed that we have finished entering census data. It has been an extremely tiring and exhaustive process for each of us in the class to digitize at least twenty sheets of census records. As we came to an end, there was a … Continue reading What Can We Extrapolate?

Practical Applications of Census Data

We have spent many weeks working on digitizing census data, tediously comparing spreadsheets and meticulously analyzing the entries. But the question remains as to what can be done with this data? What is the point of digitizing this information? Digitizing this census data opens doors to obtaining many different types of information. As you know, … Continue reading Practical Applications of Census Data

The Allure of the Eighth Ward

Transcribing thousands of census records for Messiah College’s Digital History class can be tedious at times, and I often found myself in the habit of thinking of Harrisburg’s citizens in 1900 in terms of wards and districts rather than as families and individuals. It is all too easy to merely skim the information and forget … Continue reading The Allure of the Eighth Ward

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Navigating Your Way Through the 1900 United States Census Records

Our first assignment, The City Social Project, involves mapping demographic data for Harrisburg in 1900 and creating a digital map of Harrisburg along the lines of the Mapping DuBois project. Each student is responsible for keying 2,000 records of the 1900 U.S. Census. In a class of twelve students, that means we are processing over 24,000 entries total. With the … Continue reading The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Navigating Your Way Through the 1900 United States Census Records

Excelling in Census Data

These past few weeks we have been hard at work taking census data from 1900 Harrisburg and putting it into Microsoft excel. This work was done with help from Ancestry, Dr. Pettegrew, patience, attention to detail, and numerous cups of coffee. Below, you will see one of the many sheets from the 1900 census. I … Continue reading Excelling in Census Data

Digital Harrisburg Initiatives: An Update

There has been a flurry of student and faculty activity in the last month about our Digital Harrisburg projects. You’ve heard now from most of the students in the Digital History course about their experiences so far with the City Social and City Beautiful projects. Expect additional observations, comments, and curiosities from students in the … Continue reading Digital Harrisburg Initiatives: An Update