Political Meetings Mapper

Dr. Katrina Navickas

Dr Katrina Navickas is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Hertfordshire, and Director of the Centre for Regional and Local History and the 2015 Winner of the British Library Labs Competition. She is interested in the history of popular politics and protest in 18th and 19th-century Britain, particularly in the North of England.

Published date:

We found 5519 meetings. It's not quite Big Data but for a historian it's a lot. I couldn't have done that by hand.

Key points

  • Chartism was the biggest movement for democracy in Victorian Britain. But where did they hold their meetings? Katrina worked with British Library Labs on her project 'Political Meetings Mapper' to explore this question using digital methods and tools.  
  • The project developed a tool to programmatically extract notices of Chartist meetings from digitised 19th-century historical newspapers in our collections and geo-code their locations.
  • They discovered listings for over 5500 meetings in 462 town and villages between 1841-1844, a task that would have taken years to collect by hand but was completed in minutes with a bit of Python.

Subjects

Digital scholarship

Undertake innovative research with our digital collections and data