Feb 25

Session on database design & where else to go

Early American THATCampers,

This follows a bit along Zach Hutchins’s lines, and I’d be open to sharing a session with him if he’s interested.  I’ve been working on a database of the loan records for the Easton Library Company, an Easton, Pa. shareholding library (on the model of the Lib. Co. of Philadelphia), for the years 1811-1862.  The work has progressed to the point that my digital librarian collaborators and I are starting to plan front-end (i.e., user interface) issues, especially visualization tools.  At the same time, I have a research student sleuthing sources for biographical material on the shareholders and their representatives (in the early records, signatures of the people who actually signed the books out were included, not just the name on the account).  I’ve started looking at 19c maps of Easton, possible sources for the books (usually purchased in Philadelphia, from what I can tell), and I need feedback on these questions: what do you all want from a resource like this?  What queries/visualization options/etc. would be helpful?  What information beyond the loan records would you want integrated, and how?  I’m looking to do a little demonstration of the database so people can see what’s already getting built, but where things go from here is my main concern for the THATCamp session.  Thanks very much for your thoughts, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what others are doing, too!

1 comment

  1. Joanne van der Woude

    I would love to see a session on open source databases. I’m thinking about building one on unpublished New World poetry, so manuscripts, but also Spanish stuff that may not be available in English (and hence unteachable for the most of us). I’m looking forward to Amanda French’s session on OMEKA, to see if that would meet my needs. I would hopefully be working with several researchers on this database, and allow posting from different parts of the world (obviously). Thanks!

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