Having completed my spreadsheet of data for historic music loan data in early 19th century St Andrews, I’m keen to start the analysis. Would that it was so easy! I now embark on the sharp learning curve of making Excel do what I need it to do.
Graphs from spreadsheets? Well, I can import data into a Word chart, so that’s a start. But I need to do more. Anyway, I now have a duplicate spreadsheet for experimentation, to ensure I don’t damage the crucial raw data by accident! My to-do list looks like this:-
- Check a few cells where I suspect I slipped up on the data entry (only a few, but each must be double-checked). Then update the experimental sheet AND the crucial raw data sheet to ensure I never use incorrect data.
- Ensure every empty cell is filled in with zero, to ensure calculations will be correct.
- Categorise each of 450-odd Sammelbander so I can determine whether certain types went out overwhelmingly more than others:-
- I – Instrumental; subdivided A – Assorted, H – Harp, K – Keyboard, S- Strings, W – Wind. Further subdivided L – Learning, where appropriate
- V – Vocal; subdivided A – Assorted, D – Dramatic, R- Religious, S – Secular Songs. Further subdivided L – Learning, where appropriate
- M – Mixed Instrumental and Vocal. Further subdivided using codes above.
- Th – Theoretical (not an instrument)
- Experiment with single volume graphs
- Experiment with totals for male versus female loans (can I total individual columns, or should I extract columns to form separate spreadsheets?)
- Experiment with how many volumes at a time can reasonably be displayed in graphic form
There are other questions I’d like to start to answer, too. I have a list of every borrower, and I have the data of their chronological borrowing activity, but I need to see if I can display this activity in graphic form.
- Can I check these names against the archive catalogue to see what I can find out about them?
- How feasible is it to go through the early proto-census document of St Andrews? Could I, for example, trace Mrs Bertram’s girls’ boarding school at St Leonard’s? (Double check date of proto-census document)