Sunday, October 23, 2011

Encyclopedia Folder

Might just as well start at the simplest, least interesting thing.  Let me just say I had a bad copy of the folder up the first time - an older version.  The newer version is now in the files, so be sure you're looking at what I uploaded later.  You can tell because Ireland is in the completed files.

Having grown up with a particular encyclopedia my parents possessed, the date of which goes back to 1952, and having been familiar in my youth with all things geography in a really big way, I had long before stumbled across lists of products produced in certain areas at certain times.  If you take a look in the 'Complete Entries' folder, and past that into 'Completed Regions' (there are no other regions at the moment, with completed describing what has been put into the sources table, which we'll get to next), you'll find a long list of the regions I've researched for 'references', as according to the system I described back here.  This is merely the raw data for those references.

Back in the 1990's, when I started recording this information in order to be sure that it was complete, I did not have the internet.  For earlier, failed incarnations of trade tables, going back to the late 80s, I'd just copied the material straight out of the encyclopedias ... but I was always losing pages and I couldn't easily check something that should have been in an area, so in '97 I started writing everything out, straight copying the material out of the encyclopedia.  It made sense, because if I needed to search something other than trade, the data was digital.

This became less and less necessary as the net, and particularly wikipedia, got thorough and reliable.  Finally I started just writing out the products themselves ... though most of the files have a few entries at the beginning when I was copying everything that was relative to 1650 (no later history copied).

Some of it is flotsam and jetsam, a note here or there of something that should have been copied on some other file, but is still a file of its own ('Alba Iulia' for instance).  True to my word, I'm providing the rough data, so I'm not bothering to fancy up the material any more than I need it to be fancied.  I have no real reason to waste time fixing the few bits here and there, I can search them all anyway and they can be just as they are.

You can see an example of me writing everything in the Russia files, and me writing just the products in the France files.  It's been an ongoing project all this past 14 years now.  When I haven't got anything else to do, I just work on more of this.

Going to the top of the 'Encyclopedia' folder, what's there are things I haven't copied out yet (in complete, anyway): Canada, America, the East Indies ... all short, partial files.  The places to be researched - everywhere that has a geographical entry in the encyclopedia - can be found in the 'Working Index,' just a long list of names.  Teal and some brown for Canada/United States, Pink for Latin America and Green for the East Indies and Oceania.  There used to be lists like this for Asia, Europe and Africa, but those have been researched, item by item.

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