Ireland, surprisingly, is rather wet and cold. All to the good, as I am in no way tempted to go outside and do anything. I have been playing around with IBM Manyeyes, a data vizualization program that requires users to make their datasets public, but is quite robust and doesn’t require learning R, or SPSS or python. I became interested in social network analysis after an AHA panel on the topic, and because as a part of my research I’ve been tracking what newspapers or authorities are cited as part of articles relating to the famine. I am generally interested in what sources get cited again and again, by a number of papers, because that might indicate the ‘power’ of some narratives about the famine (where power=repetition) over others. The London Times Irish commissioner, for example, is frequently cited by newspapers from Britain, Ireland and America, while the Dublin Evening Mail is frequently cited by rural Irish papers, and only occasionally by other papers. It is my impression, from reading these papers, that the Cork Examiner and Cork Constitution are frequently used, but only as cited gobbets, among many block quotations from provincial Irish newspapers.
At any rate, network analysis gives me a visual means of testing these assumptions, and is also, for a more data-y History nerd, just fun.
So, anyway, here’s the first stab at my citation analysis. I’ve not yet tabulated all of the references from the Indian papers or any of the New York or Cork ones, so this is mostly the British papers.