FactGrid:Career Statements

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Kupferstich "Der Buchhändler" aus: Abbildung der gemein-nützlichen Haupt-Stände von Christoph Weigel (Regensburg, 1698).

Problem and Solution

Historical sources are rich with statements about the social status, the personal situations or the occupations of people they are mentioning. Subscription lists, address books, tax lists — they all will offer names, localisations and career statements from "merchant's widow", to "colonel" of the local regiment.

The information is often merely given to identify a particular person. Digest it and it will shed light on the social composition of an audience or organisation you are studying. The problem is that you will need a good deal of background information on these statements before they begin to make sense in greater masses. If you have 1,000 names and 300 different career statements you will need background information on all these career statements to get a fast categorisation and a first impression of the numbers (and people) under these useful headers.

The database should know the words, it should know variants and abbreviations of these words in order to understand them and it should have a system or various competing systems of categorisations to unite your people in different groups under under various questions. Once you have this background information the machine can put the 300 statements into ten or twenty groups and count the 1,000 people which you will now fin in these groups for statistics or for further research int interesting groups that are now more visible.

The solution is a database that knows the words and that breaks them down in ontologies. This is basically what we are trying to provide with the "career statements" on FactGrid. If you have a set of people use the Property:P165 to connect them to "career statements" and the you can run searches and sort results with the ontological information that is on these terms.

FactGrid career statements — three granularities

FactGrid is presently offering some 8,800 "Career statements" - this is the list in English and in alphabetical order - the translations are not yet revised and there are presently some blank items in this list that will be removed in the next steps.

Some of these items are as broad as "pensioner", some are succinct in various degrees from "baker" to "master baker" to "court master baker" and some of them create singular positions like: "rector of the University of Erfurt". These are the three categories that should be in the game of the respective P2/P3 statements (is/ subcategory of):

  • Item:Q37073 Career statement (baker, master baker, court baker, university rector, widow, pensioner)
  • Item:Q37131 Career statement with historical or geographical specifications
  • Item:Q257052 Career statement that captures a sequence of incumbents "rector/president of the University of Erfurt"

The P3* switch allows you to search for all university rectors even though some have precise statements on them — see line 3 of this sample query:

Connected to the OhdAB ontology

All our "career statements" are connected to Katrin Moellers ontology of career statements OhdAB. The OhdAB comprises some 45,000 items from no-statement to different jobs in a circus all in a hierarchy of differentiations. The following links give the original German version and an English version that has automated translations in it.

All the OhdAB items begin with the OhdAB number code and form a sphere of their own. Contact Katrin Moeller and her team if you want to offer more than translations. Our working vocabulary is connected to the OhdAB ontology through the Property:P1007 statements on each "career statement". With the help of the graph database you now use the OhdAB information behind the P1007 link as in the following search:

The OhdAB matching is not yet finished, but we will get this done in the first weeks of 2024. The OhdAB translation is another project. The German labelling should always be the source here.

Statistical breakdowns - options

We can run several ontologies and various statistical breakdowns side by side. The simple way is to have a property and the respective ontology on that property.

FactGrid (P626) Economic Sector Statistics

The OhdAB ontology is just one way to arrange the various career statements. We can run several such systems side by side (they usually do not need more than one or two properties to generate a hierarchy). We are here just at the beginning. What we need is the individual breakdown l like a division of

  • career requirements — from vocational training to doctoral degree in medicine
  • admission procedures — how do you get a certain position? do you inherit the position, are you elected into it, do you buy the charge?
  • social power — how many people will you have under your command?
  • hierarchy level — what next position(s) can you reach from the present position in your career?
  • organisational power how is your group or profession organised? By a guild, a trade union, an umbrella organisation?

Careers are far more than just occupations that will be filled with work - they give access to networks, they provide power (or make you poor and helpless), they provide status and prestige, and here we need help to put the various statements on the individual statements which have created and will continue to create. The more we know about the career statements, the easier it is to isolate professions that require the same answers on questions like the ones asked so far.

Contact us if you feel you could make sense of particular profession you are handling in your research, help us to create the properties and answers you will need in order to make use of the work we have done so far.

If you want to create career statements

Use the career statements we already have wherever applicable.

if you need new statements: Create them with together with a P2 statement of Item:Q37073 / Item:Q37131 or Item:Q257052 and connect them to the OhdAB ontology with a Property:P1007 statement.

If you do not find the proper OhdAB match - contact the OhdAB team to create the perfect match of a pragmatic regular statement and a OhdAB systematic identification.

Use cases