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Seeing Inside a Collection

This space showcases data visualizations associated with the in-person exhibition housed at the Robertson Davies Library at Massey College in Summer 2024. The following data visualizations are derived from datasets consisting of library catalogue metadata from the collection and visualized using Voyant and Flourish

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Visualizations, L to R (row 1): 

  • In order to create this visualization, we used a dataset consisting of the library catalogue metadata (data about data), which describes the subjects, languages, titles, and authors of the catalogued books in the collection. In order to better understand the layers of the collection, we removed the most obvious “book-related” terms from the dataset in order to see the other themes that might emerge. This visualization shows the top fifty words that emerged from the dataset once the stop words were removed. The words are grouped into themes as follows: 

    • Nature: Red

    • Time: Yellow

    • Humans: Black

    • Religion: Blue

  • This word cloud consists of keywords from the data collected by Kathryn Middleton of the items that readers called up for research and teaching purposes over the course of the year. This visualization shows us a bit about what users are most drawn to in the collection.

Row 2 (L to R): 

  • This visualization shows the distribution and proportion of the languages represented in the collection. English is clearly most dominant, rather distantly followed by French and German. There is at least one book in the collection for each language represented here.

  • This "TextArc" visualization shows the complete text corpus of the catalogued materials in the Robertson Davies Library. The dataset consists of 11,707 titles in the collection. While there are over 22,000 volumes in the collection as a whole, many of these are uncatalogued, and the dataset lists one title per multi-volume set. 

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