Topic data sets – Hackathon Coding Precarity

In September 2020 the hackathon „Coding Precarity – Social Issues in Cultural Data“, organized by the Berlin State Library and the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, took place in Berlin. During this three-day event, interdisciplinary teams of computer scientists, designers and humanities scholars developed innovative projects using digitised historical documents from the Berlin State Library and the ZBW, addressing questions such as precarious employment, economic uncertainty, and social marginalization.


Data sets


The Social Question

Description:

With industrialisation, economic and social structures change dramatically: inhabitants of rural spaces move to growing cities in search of work, and the resulting oversupply of workers leads to low wages and impoverishment. These problems and their possible solutions were addressed controversially in the 19th century as the Social Question.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1844-1919 in German with reference to all subjects


Scope:

32 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Misery and Care

Description:

Due to the mass social misery in the cities, institutionalised and professionalised social work emerged alongside the tradition of upper class private charity, regarding poverty, crime and social problems as economically induced. Nevertheless, the view of self-inflicted poverty and misery also persisted and led to attempts to enforce moral conformity through prohibition and social control.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1845-1925 in German with reference to all subjects


Scope:

54 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Textile Industry and Agriculture

Description:

Surveys and statistics documenting the economic and social situation of specific professional groups provide insights into the working and living conditions of the working class and also show the efforts of labour unions and movements to constantly improve these conditions.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1792-1920 in German with reference to all subjects


Scope:

38 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Women as Social and Factory Workers

Description:

Women were generally more affected by social changes and their economic position was even more difficult than that of male workers. At the same time, new fields of professional activity were established for women, for example in social work, which led to help offered by women for women.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1792-1919 in German with reference to all subjects


Scope:

27 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Commercial Profit and Work Reform

Description:

Under the pressure of the labour movement and increasingly strong social democratic parties, social insurance schemes were established in 1883-1891, and there was an ongoing fight for better conditions, such as higher wages and regulated working hours. However, these reforms were sometimes regarded as a danger for economic profit and therefore prevented by the employers.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1828-1924 in German and French with reference to all subjects


Scope:

42 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Marginalisation and Criminialisation

Description:

Marginalised and criminalised groups, such as sick and unemployed persons, orphans, widows, unmarried mothers, alcohol addicts or prostitutes, were most dramatically affected by economic and social pressure in the 19th century. In the efforts to help these persons in need, both supportive and regulatory tendencies can be identified, offering help only in exchange for moral and social control.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1736-1925 in German with reference to all subjects


Scope:

54 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Socialism and Liberalism

Description:

With the emergence of the labour movement and the rise of socialist parties, the question of interaction between the economical and the political system became crucial. While labour unions advocated for the protection of workers, proponents of liberalism and nationalism saw this as a weakening of economic power and thus as a danger for the prosperity of the national state.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1876-1924 in German with reference to all subjects


Scope:

37 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Housing Shortage and Food Prices

Description:

The growth of cities led to housing shortage and overcrowding of flats with poor hygienic conditions. Moreover, the income of many working class people didn’t allow for sufficient alimentation. Also in rural areas the job scarcity often led to difficult living conditions. Proposed solutions for these problems were the establishment of worker’s colonies, the construction of garden cities in the suburbs and the increasing industrialisation of smaller towns.


Materials:

Historical prints from the period 1870-1920 in German with reference to all subjects


Scope:

21 works / METS files; a fraction of the relevant SBB and ZBW stock


Licenses:

Public Domain Mark 1.0


Links:


Contact persons:


Stand: 23.11.2020