Text Mining Big Data in Digital History

Text Mining Big Data in Digital History: Commodity Trading in Nineteenth Century Canada
Speaker: Dr Bea Alex # Edinburgh University
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
17th Oct 2013 16:30 - 17th Oct 2013 18:00
Daid Hume Tower, Faculty Room South

Identifying Trends in Commodity Trading in the Nineteenth Century British Empire


Text mining has become a viable method to analyse large, digitised text collections, to extract information from such unstructured data sources and supplement it with external knowledge.  Combined with dynamic visualisations, large archives can thus become alive and be made accessible to historians and social scientists in new and interesting ways.  Prior historical or literary research has tended to focus on small subsets of data and was often extremely tedious to collect or manage manually.  In this talk, I will report on research conducted as part of the Trading Consequences project, a collaboration between Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, EDINA, the University of St. Andrews and York University, Toronto.  The goal of this project is to identify and visualise global trends in commodity trading in the nineteenth century through the automatic analysis of large historical text collections.  The focus of this talk will be the collaborative aspects of work carried out by historians in Canada and computer scientists in Scotland to achieve this goal.