The Colored Conventions Project is a digital transcription project aiming to “bring the buried history of nineteenth-century Black organizing to digital life.” With the help of volunteers, the minutes of “Colored Conventions” that took part from the 1830s onward until the end of the nineteenth century across the United States have been transcribed.
This week, we learned about text analysis using tools such as MALLET, Google N-Grams, and Voyant. I decided to use Voyant on the Colored Conventions Project Corpus to analyze the texts within the corpus. I downloaded the files from the website and then uploaded them to the Voyant Tools desktop site and got this analysis as a result. The top ten most frequently-occurring words were, from most to least frequent: “convention,” “committee,” “people,” “colored,” “state,” “Mr.,” “shall,” “resolved,” “men,” and “motion.” This gives people an idea of the language used in a majority of the texts found in the Colored Conventions Project Corpus. Using the TermsBerry tool, one can see which most frequently-appearing terms were used in close proximity with which others and gives further insights into the topics of the texts. For example, “American” was used most often with, in order of most to least frequent, “society,” “people,” “citizens,” “slavery,” “government,” and “liberty.” With Voyant’s suite of tools, it is possible to get a good overview of some important terms used within a corpus spanning many years and lengthy documents that would be tedious if not impossible to physically read and summarize with pure manpower.