Center for Archival Futures (CAFe) Talk: Dr. Valeria Rueda
Using geographical archival resources for quantitative history: a practitioner's perspective.
Time: 4pm - 5pm EST -- 45 minute presentation + 15 minute Q&A
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Dr. Valeria Rueda is a lecturer in Economics at the University of Nottingham's School of Economics. She received a Ph.D. in Economics from Sciences Po, Paris, in 2016. After that, she was a Career Development Fellow at the University of Oxford (Pembroke College) and a member of the Economic and Social History Research group. Her work aims at understanding the long-term determinants of income inequality across regions using a quantitative historical perspective. She is particularly interested in the role of culture—especially religion—on development, but this is not her only subject. Valeria was born in Colombia, where she lived until she was 18 years old, before moving to France to pursue her higher education.
Since the 2000s, there has been a rapid increase in economic history work. This booming literature has benefitted from expanding access to optical character recognition (OCR) and geographic information systems (GIS), which allow researchers to use archival materials in innovative ways. Different research projects I have conducted, on early 20th century Christian missions in Africa and on the demographic history of the Italian unification, have used geographical information systems to combine historical data derived from archival resources and modern datasets to gain new insights on the long-term determinants of income inequality across regions. This talk will give an overview of how social scientists have used geographical archival resources combined with modern data and explain the main challenges faced when doing so. How might archival practice change in the future to better support these kinds of data extraction and combination efforts?