On Gathering Data

Your group may only have a few pieces of data, or it may have hundreds. Either way, you need to be careful when collecting your data. Here are some instructions:


  1. If you have any images/logos from before 1923, you can use them (but check with me to make sure).
  2. If they are from after 1923, you must either get permission from the publishers/authors/companies or NOT USE THEM.
  3. You must include all page images, including the cover, front, and back matter, and full, proofread transcriptions of every page.
  4. You must cite the original projects following MLA citation rules.
  5. Sample citation for a Works Cited page:

Made-up, Author. This is the Title. City: Publisher, date. Print.

Topic Modeling

  1. The files must be plain text ( .txt), not HTML (.html) or Word (.doc or .docx). Open the files in either in Notepad (on a PC) or in TextEdit (on a Mac). If you see extra characters in addition to the text, you’re probably looking at an HTML file. Go back to the website with your data, copy and paste the text into Notepad or Textedit, then save as a .txt file.
  2. The file name of each file should clearly identify the text (use data and short title).
  3. You must cite the data.


  1. If you are digitizing an historical map, make sure to cite the original (and to georectify it)
  2. If you are plotting points on a map, each entry should have a citation explaining where the information came from
  3. If you are plotting lots of data from census records on a map and your data came from 1 source, make sure to cite that source below the map.

All Projects

  1. Your data should come from books published by reputable presses (e.g. university presses), peer reviewed or otherwise praised digital humanities projects, or other reputable websites (e.g. http://www.census.gov/), NOT Wikipedia.
  2. To avoid charges of plagiarism, make sure to write down the author, title, and publication information of each work before taking notes on it. When taking notes, write down the page number for each point.

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