Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2020.09.02 edition

The China Biographical Database, school reopenings, US cabinets since Washington, papal visits, and the Bible.

A who’s who of historical China. The China Biographical Database is packed with details on “approximately 470,000 individuals” from historical China, “primarily from the 7th through 19th centuries.” The extensively documented records include information about kinships, social statuses, offices and postings, aliases, known addresses, and more. The project, which has a long history of its own, provides bulk downloads as well as an API. [h/t Yifei Hu]

School reopenings. Education Week is collecting coronavirus-era reopening plans “from a sample of school districts around the country.” The dataset (free registration required) covers more than 800 US public school districts so far, and is being updated weekly. USAFacts has collected similar information from the 255 largest US public school districts as of August 17. And has pulled together data on a thousand districts’ plans in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. [h/t Sasha Anderson + Stephen Stirling and Rebekah F. Ward]

US cabinets. UX designer Tait Chamberlain has constructed a dataset of all US presidential cabinet nominations — including nominees appointed, withdrawn, and rejected — from George Washington’s to the current administration. The spreadsheets contain “service dates, notable scandals, education, military service, foreign birth, known minority and gender status, whether the appointee died in office, and the senate confirmation vote tallies.” Previously: Cabinets around the world, 1966–2016 (DIP 2020.08.05).

Papal visits. For their “Pacem in Terris: Are Papal Visits Good News for Human Rights?” working paper, economists Marek Endrich and Jerg Gutmann have compiled “the first global dataset on papal travels outside of Italy.” For each country-year combination between 1964 and 2017, the dataset indicates whether the Pope visited, who he was, and the country’s “latent human rights” score for that year.

The Bible. Tim Morgan’s “provides a JSON API for grabbing bible verses and passages.” You can choose verses from six translations in five languages, and can download both the underlying code and the data. [h/t Oto Brglez]