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Quantitative history encompasses many things, from basic statistical skills to analyzing available data to collecting data. As the guide to quantitative history tries to address these various aspects, so too does this guide to online sources. Some of these resources offer individual level data; others offer aggregate data. In addition, some sites provide raw data that must be downloaded and analyzed with statistical software while other sites offer data that are available for online manipulation. This list is intended as a brief overview of the multitude of sources, data, and guides available online, providing links to some of the largest collections and most comprehensive resources on quantitative evidence.

Archives—Records and Quantitative Data
Statistical Guides


American Family Immigration History Center, Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

Created by a non-profit organization to fund preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, this site provides a searchable database containing records on more than 22 million passengers and ship crewmembers who passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. In addition to a basic passenger record (name, ethnicity, place of residence, date of arrival, age, marital status, ship of travel, and place of departure), users may view a copy of the original ship manifest (a text version is also available), and a picture of the ship. If no match occurs, the site provides information for names with close or alternate spellings.

Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce
Comprehensive and summary data estimates concerning national, international, and regional economic activity, and "statistics that influence the decisions made by government officials, business people, households, and individuals." Includes an overview of the economy, providing data on production, purchases by type, price, personal income, government finances, inventories, and balance of payments. This site also offers news releases concerning key economic indicators, descriptions of sources and methodologies used, and articles from the organization’s publications. A keyword index to a 1929-2000 set of annual and quarterly national income and product account (NIPA) tables allows users access to data on specific product sales and ways that consumers have spent money.

Online Data Archive, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Provides 41 social science statistical data studies on a variety of topics, including 12 studies dealing with Wisconsin-related topics, 14 studies on American subjects, and 15 studies dealing with general or international matters. Subjects pertaining to American history include Slave Movement during the 18th and 19th Centuries; Irish immigrants in Boston in 1847 and 1848; Characteristics of Census Tracts in Nine U.S. Cities, 1940-1960; the growth, consumption habits, and finances of American families in the 1950s and 1960s; financial characteristics of consumers in the early 1960s; premarital sexuality in 1973; Civil Rights volunteers, 1965-1982; urban racial disorders of the 1960s; and the role of the American family in the transmission and maintenance of socioeconomic inequality. This Web site provides data for download; statistical software may be required to analyze and process the data.

FRED, Economic Time-Series Database, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Offers national economic and financial data in 12 categories, including: interest rates; consumer price indexes; employment and population; gross domestic product and components; producer price indexes; trade data; and daily/weekly financial data. Much of the data was compiled monthly. Periods covered vary according to category, and some statistics go back to 1901. Also provides historical and recent statistics for the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, University of Minnesota

Currently provides 22 census data samples and 65 million records from 13 federal censuses covering the period 1850-1990. These data "collectively comprise our richest source of quantitative information on long-term changes in the American population." The project has applied uniform codes to previously published and newly created data samples. Rather than offering data in aggregated tabular form, the site offers data on individuals and households, allowing researchers to tailor tabulations to their specific interests. Includes data on fertility, marriage, immigration, internal migration, work, occupational structure, education, ethnicity, and household composition. Offers extensive documentation on procedures used to transform data and includes 13 links to other census-related sites. This site may be somewhat challenging for novices.

Research Data on Voting and Public Opinion, National Election Studies
This site contains a wealth of data from National Election Studies surveys of the American electorate conducted in presidential and congressional election years from 1948 to 1998. Survey information covers public opinion and political participation on topics such as the effectiveness of major political parties, election outcomes, interest in the campaign, and important issues facing voters. The data files and codebooks for each study are available for download, but these large files take considerable time to open and provide complex and highly technical information. More accessible are more than 200 tables and graphs that trace public opinion from 1948 to 1998 on nine topics: Social and Religious characteristics of the Electorate; Partisanship and Evaluation of Political Parties; Ideological Self-Identification; Public Opinion on Public Policy Issues; Support for the Political System; Political Involvement and Partisanship in Politics; Evaluation of Presidential Candidates; Evaluation of Congressional Candidates; and Vote Choice. The site also offers The NES Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior, which offers easily digestible data on the issues drawn from these studies. This site is somewhat difficult to navigate.

U.S. Presidential Election Maps: 1860-1996, University of Virginia Library
Maps, color-coded according to presidential candidate, display percent of popular vote the winning candidate in each state received in elections between 1860 and 1996. Currently includes maps showing electoral vote distributions by state for elections between 1900 and 1996. Also contains a chart with the number and percentage of votes each candidate received in each state in the 2000 election. Maps of Virginia show cities and counties won by George W. Bush and Al Gore in the 2000 election, and the percentage of votes that Bush, Gore, Ralph Nader, and all third-party candidates received in each county.

United States Historical Census Data Browser, University of Virginia Library
Provides data gathered by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research from census records and other government sources for a study entitled "Historical Demographic, Economic, and Social Data: The United States, 1790-1970." For each decade, users may browse extensive population- and economic-oriented statistical information at state and county levels, arranged according to a variety of categories, including place of birth, age, gender, marital status, race, ethnicity, education, illiteracy, salary levels, housing, and specifics dealing with agriculture, labor, and manufacturing. Allows users to select up to 15 variables when conducting searches and displays both raw data and statistical charts.

Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War, University of Virginia
A massive, searchable archive relating to two communities, Staunton, Virginia, and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, before, during, and after the Civil War, including church, agricultural, military, and public records. Public records include population and agricultural censuses, tax digests, and, for Augusta county, records about slave owners and free blacks.



HyperStat Online Textbook, David M. Lane
An 18-chapter introductory statistics textbook. Each chapter includes links to related articles and books; some include exercises. Provides 16 links to general statistics texts and data sources.

Java Demos for Probability and Statistics
Statisticians, as well as students and instructors, will appreciate this intelligible collection of Java applets. The interactive applets clearly model probability distributions and illustrate other basic statistical concepts. Included are applets that demonstrate hypergeometric distribution, Poisson distribution, normal distribution, bivariate normal distribution, proportions, confidence intervals for means, the central limit theorem, linear regression, and Buffon’s Needle. Professor Charles Stanton of California State University, San Bernardino, the Applet developer, provides brief descriptions and instructions for most of the demonstrations.