Data Visualization with the HTRC’s Bookworm Tool

by Eileen Bentsen, Librarian – English, History, Honors College, & Medical Humanities

On October 26, 1921, President Harding gave a speech in Alabama condemning lynching. While the speech, by today’s standards, would be considered far short of the mark of civil rights (Pres. Harding sought only political and economic equality for Negros, not social equality, it was still quite radical for it’s time, and demonstrated Pres. Harding’s support for the Dyer Anti-Lyncing bill https://www.naacp.org/naacp-history-dyer-anti-lynching-bill/, introduced in 1918 (which passed the House, but was filibustered in the Senate in 1922.)

I used the HathiTrust+Bookworm advanced interface (in beta development) to create three visualizations: 1. A trend map over time of the use of the word “lynching” in English in books published in the United States; and two heatmaps using color to represent the correspondence between a word and the number of texts (books) it appears in. The first of these, #2, is for the word “lynching” (first recorded use is 1811, but is dated to c. 1776 and is of American origin), the second of the heat maps (#3) is of the word “hanged,” used largely to denote a method of execution. The heat maps are interactive. If you scroll over a grid you can click to link a sample of the books using each term published in that year in the Library of Congress Subject Class.

  1. Lynching (LIMITS: LANG=English, PUBLICATION COUNTRY = USA):

https://bookworm.htrc.illinois.edu/develop/#?%7B%22search_limits%22:%5B%7B%22word%22:%5B%22lynching%22%5D,%22date_year%22:%7B%22$gte%22:1760,%22$lte%22:2010%7D,%22language__id%22:%5B%221%22%5D,%22publication_country__id%22:%5B%221%22%5D%7D%5D,%22counttype%22:%22WordsPerMillion%22%7D

 

  1. Lynching: A Heat Map of word use trends in HathiTrust Texts, 1920-2000 (x = Library of Congress Class, y = pub year, color = total # of texts): Click on any of the individual grids to see a representative list of publications

https://bookworm.htrc.illinois.edu/advanced/#%7B%22method%22%3A%22return_json%22%2C%22words_collation%22%3A%22Case_Sensitive%22%2C%22groups%22%3A%5B%22date_year%22%2C%22class%22%5D%2C%22database%22%3A%22Bookworm2016%22%2C%22counttype%22%3A%5B%22WordCount%22%5D%2C%22search_limits%22%3A%7B%22date_year%22%3A%7B%22%24lte%22%3A2000%2C%22%24gte%22%3A1920%7D%2C%22class__id%22%3A%7B%22%24lt%22%3A10%7D%2C%22word%22%3A%5B%22lynching%22%5D%7D%2C%22aesthetic%22%3A%7B%22x%22%3A%22date_year%22%2C%22y%22%3A%22class%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22TotalTexts%22%7D%2C%22plotType%22%3A%22heatmap%22%2C%22scaleType%22%3A%22log%22%7D

 

  1. Compare a heat map of word use trends in HathiTrust Texts, 1920-2000 for the use of “lynching” with that of “hanged” (used largely as a word for method of execution; x = Library of Congress Class, y = pub year, color = total # of texts): Click on any of the individual grids to see a representative list of publications:

https://bookworm.htrc.illinois.edu/advanced/#%7B%22method%22%3A%22return_json%22%2C%22words_collation%22%3A%22Case_Sensitive%22%2C%22groups%22%3A%5B%22date_year%22%2C%22class%22%5D%2C%22database%22%3A%22Bookworm2016%22%2C%22counttype%22%3A%5B%22WordsPerMillion%22%5D%2C%22search_limits%22%3A%7B%22date_year%22%3A%7B%22%24lte%22%3A2000%2C%22%24gte%22%3A1920%7D%2C%22class__id%22%3A%7B%22%24lt%22%3A10%7D%2C%22word%22%3A%5B%22hanged%22%5D%7D%2C%22aesthetic%22%3A%7B%22x%22%3A%22date_year%22%2C%22y%22%3A%22class%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22TextCount%22%7D%2C%22plotType%22%3A%22heatmap%22%2C%22scaleType%22%3A%22log%22%7D

Data Viz of the Week #9: Analyzing the Use of ‘Anti-Lynching’ using HTRC+Bookworm

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