Open Data

The American Philosophical Society Library has an active Open Data Initiative. Under this initiative, we (1) identify content in the APS Library that is conducive to being reconfigured as datasets; (2) encourage the use and reuse of the data by opening the data to all, and by easing access to the data.

Current Datasets

Eastern State Penitentiary

These datasets contain data from the three admission books held at the American Philosophical Society Library, including inmate name, crime, sentence, place of origin, race/ethnicity, time in and time out, and comments on moral and educational condition. Some also include notes on previous convictions or progress made while incarcerated.

Available on Github: https://github.com/AmericanPhilosophicalSociety/Historic-Prison-Data

Upcoming Datasets

Benjamin Franklin Post Office Records, 1748-1752

The APS Library holds Benjamin Franklin Post Office Book detailing letters arriving in, and being sent from, Philadelphia between May 25, 1748 and July 23, 1752. Created during Franklin’s tenure as Postmaster of Philadelphia, the book lists incoming letters individually and includes name of addressee, weight of letter, amount of postage and if the postage is paid.

Aggregate information is recorded for outgoing mail.