Hi everyone! Sorry for my hiatus, and that of my fellow writers. It’s been a crazy semester thus far, and we’re not even halfway through. We just got back to campus from Fall Break, and I am very excited to announce that I have completed keying and editing the 1900 Harrisburg Census! For those readers who may not know what this means, let’s have a flashback.
Ten months ago, I registered for a class called Digital History. I had no idea what to expect for this class, but I knew that I liked the professor who was teaching it and my friends were taking it (Yes. These are the main considerations students make when registering), so I registered for the class. About eight months ago, the class began and we started what would since become a large part of my life, the City Social project. Through this project, our class was going to key large a part of the 1900 Harrisburg Census. What this means, is that we would go into the Ancestry records for the census and copy what they had into a spreadsheet. From there, you had to look at the original document and enter the data that Ancestry neglected to collect. This included many fields, street address, number of children, employment, and literacy, to name a few. As a part of the class, we had to key 2,000 records, and now, for me, 50,029 records later, I could finally begin editing.
Using the 1895 and 1902 Boyd City Directories, I was able to search through the thousands of people in Harrisburg to find citizens and check the work that both Ancestry and the original census workers provided. This proved to be essential, particularly for the next step, GIS, which, thankfully, is someone else’s responsibility. Through searching, I can determine if the name of the citizen is correct, as well as their address and employment, but most importantly, the directory tells me whether the person lived on the north or south section of a street. Though it might seem inconsequential, this ends up being a large factor in the GIS process. So, now, eight months later, I have finally finished this exhausting process. Now, we, the Digital Harrisburg team, have information that is extremely helpful to the success of this project. We will be presenting our information at Bucknell’s upcoming Digital Conference, as well as running a conference for local high school students in the upcoming months.
So, now that I’m finished with this project, it looks like we’re moving on to 1910 Harrisburg!