Hi all, that’s week 8 of the internship completed! Had some time off for holidays so not had the full time to work on witchy data but back at it now. By now we are finishing off our processing stage and doing the last bits of data wrangling. Recently we have been doing a LOT of spreadsheet work, so let’s get started with the update.

Added to Wikidata

In the figure above, we can see the structure of the original Survey of Scottish Witchcraft database that we have been working with. As you can see the relationships between the Accused and Trials are all linked to a case. An accused witch can have one or more cases and these can have one or more trials related. To reflect this structure we’ve created case items for all the accused witches.

On these case items we’ve been able to add a whole lot more information. For example, we’ve added ritual objects, shapechanging, demonic pacts, property damage, and extra charges (e.g. sorcery, slander, murder etc.) that were allegedly involved in the cases of witchcraft. Still in the process of being added are calendar customs, witches meetings and devil appearances. So overall lots and lots of interesting data we can think about visualising. As you can see from these Listeria tables, the information on the cases are being propagated nicely:

  1. User:MaggieLin1/Scottishwitchcases – Wikipedia
  2. User:MaggieLin1/Scottishwitchcases – part2 – Wikipedia

Another thing that has been added to the cases are the people involved and how they participated in the accused witches’ investigation. In the trials, we have also added information on who mentioned who as a witch. This data would fit right in to use for network analysis. On Wikidata we have modelled the trial mentions as such, using the “object has role” qualifier to specify how the person was mentioned:

Exploring Network Analysis

Speaking of network analysis, I have been using a visualisation platform called Flourish to do some exploratory visualisations to see what the data could look like. Using the table on the Survey database related to linked trials I just imported the data straight onto the platform.

Shown above is a little cropped snippet of the whole network, with the nodes being trials and the edges being links between trials. As you can see there are just loads of linkages between trials, which could be due to an accused witch denouncing other people or trials of family members or something else. What I’m hoping to do in the coming weeks is make a more interactive (and readable!) version of this to include in the website.

LTW Staff Meeting Presentation

Another thing that’s happened in the past week was the LTW All Staff Meeting which Josep and I were invited to present some of the work we’ve been doing recently with the Witches site. As an intern it was lovely to hear the achievements of colleagues in the department that we are working in this summer, and nice to share some of our work to. Overall it was a lovely day and we got to get to know to other interns and coworkers in the office who I hadn’t spoken to before which is always fun!