Mapping the Social Diversity of a Progressive-Era City from 300,000 Names

Friday, January 5, 2018: 8:50 AM
Hampton Room (Omni Shoreham)
David K. Pettegrew, Messiah College
In the second presentation, we provide a fulsome overview of the Digital Harrisburg Project and the database of over 300,000 names and their social attributes harvested from federal census records for the years 1900-1930. The presentation will begin with a general introduction to the nature of the data. We will show how these enormous data sets offer interesting viewpoints into the changing urban diversity of the city over the span of three decades. Analyzing these datasets with complex databases and mapping in GIS offers fresh insights into the social composition of Harrisburg and Steelton on the eve of the City Beautiful Movement (in 1900) and highlights reasons for the city’s successful urban improvement campaign. We end the presentation with our plans for public dissemination of the data.