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History of immigration: Map of US immigrant populations in 1903

immigration-infographic-bad-scanThe Slate Vault today highlighted a “data-packed” map of American immigration in 1903 from the annual report of the Commissioner-General of Immigration. The Vault always posts interesting and beautiful maps, images etc. They also linked to anew-to-me site called Handsome Atlas that has some beautiful scans and visualizations of historic US atlases. GO and check them out.

But what they didn’t mention was that this Annual Report — technically titled the “Annual report of the Commissioner-General of Immigration to the Secretary of the Treasury for the fiscal year ended …” — is available in libraries around the country as it was distributed by the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) AND that the map “Race and occupation of immigrants by destination” is just one of the many maps, statistical tables, infographics, and photographs embedded in these annual reports. Stanford University Library, where I work, has the annual report going back to 1892!

And, yes, you can find this publication in Google Books, HathiTrust, and the Internet Archive, BUT you WON’T find any of the many foldout maps/infographics because they simply weren’t weren’t scanned.



A reader could use the map to see which proportion of the immigrant population of a state came from each of six “races or peoples”: “Teutonic,” “Keltic,” “Slavic,” “Iberic,” “Mongolic,” or Other. These designations echoed popular eugenic racial ideologies of the time, which used quasi-scientific theories to lump people into basic groups of origin understood to share common characteristics. The bars showing percentages of immigrants in each state color-code the newcomers according to “race or people,” so that these can be seen at a glance, then use text to explain which countries these “Mongolians” or “Slavics” came from.

The map was put together as part of an annual report made for the Commission-General of Immigration, and printed by the Government Printing Office in 1903.

via History of immigration: Map of United States immigrant populations in 1903..

Supreme Court reenactments with dogs: so wrong but so right!

John Oliver is doing great — and hilarious — journalistic work. In this segment, he not only takes on the serious issue of why the Supreme Court doesn’t allow video cameras during oral arguments (Scalia’s argument against cameras is just lame excuse given the way C-SPAN currently covers Congress), but gives other news outlets the tools to cover the Supreme Court in a hilarious way that will hopefully cause the Supreme Court to change its stance on video cameras out of embarrassment.



Real Animals, Fake Paws Footage:



State Agency Databases Project Activity Report 10/12/2014

This past week saw significant changes to the following pages at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases.  (links are to revisions page, click on “page” tab to see regular page):

Delaware saw significant reorganization in how its databases are organized and Wyoming had a number of link updates of databases from their State Library Division.

You can always view ALL changes made in the past seven days by visiting http://tinyurl.com/statedbs.

As a reminder, all of the links and text in the State Agency Databases Project is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. We strongly encourage the use of our links and annotations in projects of your own.

GAO Report: Voter ID laws reduce turnout more among African American and younger voters

A new report just released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled “ELECTIONS: Issues Related to State Voter Identification Laws” (GAO-14-634) found that requiring voters to have special ID in order to vote makes voter turnout go down and this disproportionally effects young and minority voters. And you wonder why republicans in states like Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania are instituting restrictive voter ID laws — Since the 2010 election, new voting restrictions are slated to be in place in 22 states according to the Brennan Center for Justice report “The State of Voting in 2014.” Rachel Maddow explains (watch the whole segment including the clip of Lewis Black ACLU ad on voter suppression). As Lewis Black says, “Elected officials shouldn’t get to choose who gets to choose elected officials!”



Laws requiring voters to show identification when they cast a ballot have a greater impact on African Americans and younger voters than on other racial and age groups, according to a new analysis.

The report, issued Wednesday by the General Accounting Office, found that fewer African Americans have the types of identification — like a driver’s license or state-issued identification card — required to obtain a ballot than whites. As a consequence, turnout among African American voters fell by a larger percent than turnout among white voters in two states that implemented identification requirements between 2008 and 2012.

Black turnout dropped by 3.7 percentage points more than white turnout in Kansas, and by 1.5 percentage points more than whites in Tennessee after voter ID laws passed. Among 18 year olds, turnout dropped by 7.1 percentage points more in Kansas than it did among those aged 44 to 53 year-olds in Kansas. Turnout in Tennessee fell by 1.2 percentage points more among those aged 19 to 23 than among the older set.

via Report: Voter ID laws reduce turnout more among African American and younger voters – The Washington Post.

Samantha Bee answers a govdocs reference question

Did you ever have one of those reference questions that involves a government-collected statistic that you just know must exist, but you cannot find? We all have. Samantha Bee of the Daily show looks at GAO and CDC documents and even the National Sheriff’s Association. She interviews Nate Silver! But, she discovers, some data do not exist…

  • A Shot in the Dark. Samantha Bee attempts to uncover statistics about the excessive use of lethal force by the police, only to discover that this data is mysteriously nonexistent. Aired: 10/07/14 (7:09).