Data sets for the arts and humanities

While many excellent guides to data sets for the sciences and social sciences already exist, I’d like to develop a list of likely sources for arts and humanities folks. (Or maybe this also already exists, in which case we’ll have a short session!) What are the social science data sets humanists should really know about? What museums provide downloadable data or APIs through which you can query their collections? I’m interested in resources like the Million Song Dataset or Public Art Archive or Australia’s Cultural Dataset Consortium — how can I find more? I see this as a concrete session that will produce a shared resource for use in subject guides, teaching, blogging, more. (Plus, as a librarian I find making annotated lists of things inherently satisfying.)

This session did happen at THATCamp ACRL 2013, and our shared Google Doc is here. We’d love this to be a living document, and should note that folks interested in this topic should also consider adding their finds to the DataBib site.

Categories: Crowdsourcing, Session Notes, Session Proposals |

About Amanda Rust

I'm an English & Theatre librarian working both with very traditional information formats and experiences as well as translating those to new spaces in (hopefully!) fruitful ways. Interested in preservation of cultural artifacts, interactive design, new media, public & digital humanities, and higher ed.

3 Responses to Data sets for the arts and humanities

  1. Steve Stone says:

    Mentioned to some people late in the day that there are lots of Old Time Radio shows available on the web now, that might be interesting for getting a sense of what was being said / what people were finding funny/mysterious/interesting in the 1930s, 40s, 50s.

    “Old Time Radio” will find lots of results. is one place to start. “CBS Radio Workshop” is one show that is hard to define, and covered many topics. “Cavalcade of America” & “You Are There” show how they were telling history in previous decades.

    Possible interesting comparisons: “Amos & Andy” vs “Lum & Abner” to see how African-Americans were portrayed vs. “hillbillies”. “Lux Radio Theater” as the first soap opera and why they chose so many stories with strong women (“For the Ladies” with Helen Hayes as the woman behind the man is one example).

  2. Krista White says:

    Does anyone mind if I link to our document – or reformat it – for use in a DH LibGuide I have? Of course, anyone who contributed will be credited.

  3. Amanda Rust says:

    Please feel free to edit and adapt the doc as needed! I had been planning on doing some more cleanup myself but haven’t gotten to it. Our Google doc is here.

Comments are closed.