TE7: Air Table

When people hear the word database, their minds are automatically thinking of numbers in a long list, no associated with much anything other than a name, location or a period of time. History is not general the profession or area of study that one would expect to build databases, or deal with numbers in general. Actually, there is a much different sentiment to databases within the humanities world, yes there are numbers involved, but a lot of the data associated with your research happens to be qualitative rather than quantitative. For our in class activity, we took a Clemson University Year Book form the year 1970 and compared clubs and members of clubs in a very rudimentary database created in the apen source tool called Air Table. Below is the two separate pages of my attempt.

Above is the first page of my Air Table database, which shows 6 clubs of 1970 Clemson University, the amount of members in the club and the source page from the yearbook the club is presented on. The first column, is the Unique Identifier number, which allows the first page of my database to relate specifically to my second page. This number is shown in the membership column below, so, for example, “Braham, H.” is a member of the club with the unique identifier “3”, which is the American Chemical Society. I also added another column to represent the students major, unfortunately the major was not listed for every student, and most often came up for seniors, rather than underclassmen.

Overall, AirTable was a pretty intuitive and easy to use interface. If I had familiarized myself with the year book pages we were using before hand, I feel as if I’d be able to produce something a bit more polished than is set above. What was most interested in was the project that was being carried out by out lecturer for the class, Sara Collini. Her project was about midwives on slave plantations, and how they were connected to other midwives, freed and enslaved African Americans and even other plantations. This structured AirTable had multiple pages like mine did, but with much more details an docnnected facotrs. Like in my database, I connected the clubs from page 1, to theperson on page two. What Collini did was connect multiple aspects from page 1, like the names, and duties of the midwife, to another name or enslaver or birth of a bab on page 2. Drawing not only 1 connection between pages but mutliple connections. Most importantly, to me, is that you were able to isolate one variable, in my case, 1 student, and see all fo the attributes and connections that singular student made. That page is shown below using the example of student with unique identifier 2, Jackson, L. As you can see, you see the membership tab under his name, which is directly related to the club he is involved with one page 1. This layout is a great way to keep your information straight, and see the details, while the page view helps you see the data in a zoomed out format.

Below this block of text is the pages of the yearbooks I used in a small gallery as I think seeing the primary source the information was pulled from is a definite importance.

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