Narrowing down the whole women’s suffrage movement into one research question was not easy, but the aspect that my group chose to focus on was the relationship between group membership to suffrage organizations to arrests. In other words, which suffrage organizations were most prominent and did the membership of an organization affect the likelihood of arrest? As far as data entry goes, my group chose to include the names of suffragettes, their marital status, occupation, gender, whether or not they were arrested, which suffrage organization(s) they were a part of, and the locations of these organizations. The intention at first was to find out more about the arrests of prominent suffragists, but upon further research my group members and I found it difficult to find information of the where and why of most arrests. Upon these findings, we decided we did not want to stray from the concept all together but focus more on organization membership and how this related to the arrest records that we were able to locate.
Overall, I am super impressed at my group’s work and ability to find and use the databases to our advantage because I know we were all new to Airtable and a little apprehensive about the assignment. I have literally never used a database before as a communication major, so doing this assignment was extremely helpful. It took many rounds of searching databases in different ways and making different combinations in different boxes of phrases to look for and words within a certain amount of space for the concept of how to quickly and effectively search for specific data really clicked. After completing this assignment, I feel like an expert in hunting sources in databases. Databases are honestly invaluable when it comes to historical research because they allow a person to narrow their search to a specific type of information (such as newspaper, photo, etc.), to the date the items were published, and even the location where they were published. The concept of text mining is also incredible because it allows the search for a specific word within a source to narrow searched even further. Learning this skill will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable skill not only with my university career, but also in future work situations. I am really proud of my work on this project and I do feel like I have not only learned a new skill in database searching, but also a serious asset in learning how to link and input information through Airtable.