[HUMlab] - Copenhagen University Library, South Campus: Datasprint 2018 - Tasks

Copenhagen1885 - Tasks to datasprint

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HUMlab - datasprint
HUMlab datasprint
HUMlab - datasprint
HUMlab Datasprint

Phthisis or diarrhea? Dying in Copenhagen in 1885

1885 was a year where infant mortality was still very high in the city and there was still a substantial higher mortality for adults than in the rest of the country. Although there is some information about the causes of death, we still do not know much and the information of the burial records, on its own, or in combination with the maps and other sources can help us. Some of these could be as follow

  • Did people die of the same things in different parts of the city?

  • Did the most vulnerable people, the young and the old, die similarly across the city?

  • Were there differences between causes of death between different groups? The rich and the poor? The single, the married and the widow/ers?

  • What were the most commonly discussed or portrayed causes of death?

  • How were the individual contexts of the deaths of the young and the old?

  • Potential sub-tasks:

    • Choose and classify some causes of death (OpenRefine)

    • Analyze patterns (Excel)

    • Plot individual causes of death in the map or aggregated frequencies in parishes (ArcGIS)

    • Find images that relate to death and disease (Image collection)

    • Look for mentions in the newspapers (Mediestream)

    • Find what we can learn from them in other sources (Census)

Note. When studying the distribution of causes of deaths, it is important to take the results carefully. The absence of deaths in a given place or category does not mean necessarily could mean a better disposition but that there were no people who could die from those. For instance, no infant deaths in the military.

The poor in the city: experiences of disadvantage in Copenhagen in 1885

Copenhagen was the most diversified labour market in the country. Along the highest classes working for the government, banks and blossoming businesses, there was a growing middle class, the remaining of the old artisans and the lower classes, a mixture of the working poor and those on poor relief. The city was expanding and there was a degree of social segregation. But to what extent? Using the census information on its own or in combination with a map and other sources we can learn much about this group and its place in the city. 

  • Which were the areas with the highest concentration of working poor? Or the really high classes?

  • How were the households of the different types of household heads?

  • Where there female household heads? Who were they and where were they more common?

  • Were there differences in the occupation structure between natives of the city and those who have migrated afterwards?

  • How were class differences portrayed in the press and art?

  • Potential sub-tasks:

    • Analyze patterns (Excel)

    • Plot individual or aggregated frequencies of occupation groups in parishes (ArcGIS)

    • Find images that relate to different occupationalgroups or classes (Image collection)

    • Look for mentions in the newspapers (Mediestream)

    • Find what we can learn from them in other sources (Funeral protocols)

Growing up in the city: studying and working in Copenhagen in 1885

When we think about the modernizing city in the late 19th century, we generally think about the men working new jobs and making discoveries. However, 30% of the population of the city was comprised of children below 15, who often took care of their siblings, worked, in or outside the house, and where enrolled in education. Different sources can give us different insights to what it meant to be a child in the city.

  • What can we consider a child? Which were the areas with the highest concentration of children?

  • Where they reported with occupations? What were the most common positions in the household?

  • Who did children of divorced parents lived with?

  • How many siblings, house-siblings and foster children did an average child lived with?

  • Can we find evidence of early marriages?

  • How were class differences portrayed in the press and art?

  • What were the most common causes of death for children of different ages?

  • Did 1 year olds died of the same causes as 5 year-olds?

  • Potential sub-tasks:

    • Analyze patterns (Excel)

    • Plot individual or aggregated frequencies of occupation groups in parishes (ArcGIS)

    • Find images that relate to different ages and their occupation (Image collection)

    • Look for mentions in the newspapers (Mediestream)

    • Find what we can learn from them in other sources (Funeral protocols)

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