Data (sleeping data, hidden data, etc.)

In the course of their work, many scholars collect, compile, and process quantitative data. It may just be a small table listing the price of rice over a few years or large sets of figures extracted from one of several large-scale surveys. These materials serve during the period of analysis and production of a paper or a chapter of a book, but eventually many such quantitative data are never or rarely used again. It is unfortunate because the processing of historical documents often lead to the production of a much wider range of data than the data actually used and published in a scholarly work.

This is one of the reasons for the addition of a “Data” entry in the top menu bar of the Virtual Shanghai platform. This section is designed to display data files, mostly in the form of Excel spreadsheets, on a large variety of topics. Some were published in scholarly papers, but most come from the “sleeping data store” of my computer. For years, I have been producing and accumulating such data files with each new research project. I may use them again, but it is very unlikely. Conversely, these files may be useful for other scholars and students.

In the past weeks, I have been uploading such files. It is still a small sample (33 files as of today), but it will increase steadily. Before I upload them, I make sure the files are properly referenced (sources) and presented in English (my older files are in French). These minor operations actually require some time, but I believe it is a worthwhile effort since there is no point in having others replicating work already done.

In particular, I have started to upload a series of tables on the Japanese community (including Koreans and Taiwanese) and companies in wartime Shanghai. All the tables come with keywords. Use  “Japanese” as a keyword and  the Boolean search functions to zoom in on your specific needs.

More to come. These tables are free for use and dissemination. A credit line for the Virtual Shanghai Project will always be appreciated.


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