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Digital Scholarship Fellows LibGuide: Possible Projects for DS Fellows

A place where you can learn more about concepts discussed in class!

Mapping Project

For this type of Project, you can use most of the materials and resources supplied in Unit 4 of the DS Fellows libguide.

This would be an exciting project to take on that could not only help with the Quaker Meeting Project, but also with the Quakers and Mental Health Project.  Using data about the locations of Quaker meeting houses in the 19th century, you would attempt to map out meeting houses which contributed donations to Friends Asylum.  

There are also many other directions you can take this project, but that is just one idea to get you started!

Visualizing Finances Project

For this project, I would suggest you take a look at the annual reports for Friends Asylum from 1817-1834 that have been digitized.  In each of these reports, there is information on the Asylum's spending and income.  

Doing some data clean up on these values, and then creating a visualization perhaps with d3 or even just excel could be really interesting!  

Create a New Patient History Project

Creating Patient Profiles

This type of project would involve doing research on one patient, or few patients, to create a better history of them.  You could, and probably should, spend some more time in Quaker and Special Collections to read over some of the materials and focus your research.

Your patient profile, if you wanted, could end up looking something like this (on the QMH) site: or could look totally different.

Themed Patient Profiles

Also, you could theme your patient profiles if that would be of interest.  For example you could study the patient histories of:

-Female Patients

-Alcoholic Patients

-Families of Patients (I know there are quite a few instances of multiple sister pairs being in the Asylum)

-Another category of Patients

Lastly, we highly suggest that you add whatever information you find out about a patient, a or a few patients to the QMH admin page (which will then go into the database)!  Ask Mike and Laurie more about this and how you can get a user name to start adding to the QMH database.

Additionally, if this project sounds interesting, but not quite what you want to do, look below at the project about creating a network of Friends Asylum people.

Add to the QMH Database

Someone who is not as interested in coding may want to take this project on.  You will be able to spend a lot of time with the primary Friends Asylum materials and add to the research that we have on Friends Asylum.

As it stands in October 2015, the QMH database encompasses data on Patients, their names, birthplaces, ages, diseases, length of disease, admittance date, and death date. Additionally, there is information on other people related to the Asylum such as contributors, managers, workers, etc.  We also are trying to keep track of any relationships there might be between Friends Asylum people such as parents, siblings, spouses, etc.  

There will also hopefully be more information in the database that is about the actual materials we have in Special Collections and what kind of information they give us and about whom.

If any of this sounds interesting, and you would like to help add to the QMH database as part of your final project, talk to Mike and Laurie!

Here is just a little more information on all of this as well:

Create a Network of Friends Asylum People Project

For this project, a lot of research would need to be undertaken to discover further the relationships of all the people involved, and who you would like to create a network of. It would be fascinating if we were able to have a visualization of some sort about the connections between doctors and patients, or the familial relation of patients to one another, or Managers of the Asylum. 

The Palladio tutorial below by Programming Historian is a great way to get started think about how to create a network visualization.

You will need to decide how exactly you are going to categorize people's relations to one another, but the programming historian tutorial should also help with that.


The person who guides the Programming Historian Tutorial above also mentions NodeGoat as a helpful tool you might want to look into:

Language of Mental Health

This is a project I think would be fascinating for someone to take on.

The person who takes on this project would spend a lot of time with the primary materials in Special Collections and look very deeply at the language that is being used in relation to mental health.  (Patients are often referred to as Little Improved, Improved, Much Improved, Cured, Restored, Recovered, and Incurable).  You would be asking questions such as: do the words and language used in relation to patients change over time? Is there a pattern? What does this change in terminology tell us?

Lindsay tried to get some data about the language that was being used to report the status of patients in the annual reports, but there just wasn't enough data to be compelling.  

You can look at the data that  Lindsay compiled in relation to the language of mental health if you'd like (and a few graphs).  Just ask Laurie or Mike about it.  It should be in the Scattergood Google Drive folder that they both have access to under the DS Excel Sheets > Language of Curability.

OR, Familial Language Study:

Also, if you are just in general interested by language studies, I think some interesting research could also be done about how the Quakers running the Asylum used a language of family often to refer to the patients.