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fsu torches Welcome to the Guadalajara Censuses Project


    Campus Map
About the Guadalajara Censuses Project
Guadalajara: Background & History
Censuses
Codebooks
Guide to Database Designing
Research
Maps
CD ROM Information

Welcome to the Guadalajara Census Project

All of us at the Guadalajara Census Project (GCP) hope that you will find our website both useful and informative. If you are a first-time visitor to the site and want to access specific information as quickly and effeciently as possible, go to How to Navigate the Guadalajara Census Project Website for descriptions of our eight topic areas of the site.

Listed below is a compilation of frequently asked questions which have been about the GCP. We hope that the answers below provide a helpful overview in understanding the GCP's mission, role, and its historic and academic contributions. We always welcome suggestions for improvement and for making the website more user-friendly and accessible to all users. Again, thank you for visiting our website. If you have comments or suggestions for additional information to be included in the website, go to website survey.

Q: What is the Guadalajara Census Project and where is it located?

A: The Guadalajara Censuses Project (GCP) is an experiment in the preservation and public access to the historical resources of two nations who share a common border yet who are often divided by differences in language, culture and history. In much the same sense, this project is an exercise in building a bridge between the humanities and the often presumed foreign, and at times even feared, "universe" of statistics. We began at Florida State University as a graduate seminar in the history of urban Mexico; we have become a multi-national, inter-disciplinary enterprise providing bilingual public access to the rich statistical resources of Guadalajara, Mexico. For additional information, go to What Is the Guadalajara Censuses Project?

The GCP is located on the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida and it
is housed, appropriately, in one of the last of the World War II buildings left on campus.Relics from the U.S Army Air Force Base Mabry Field, these wooden buildings were moved to the Florida State campus after the war to be housing to accommodate the many married students enrolling in the former Florida State College for Women. The pink door and the bright green steps mark the GCP staff's eccentric, not to mention eclectic tastes.

Under the guidance of the GCP Board of Advisors, GCP staff are mainly history graduate students at Florida State, although some have moved on to full-time positions while working part-time at the projects. Others are consultants for specialized aspects of the project. A list of past and present staff is online at the GCP Staff page. For the most part the GCP staff maintain their own building, usually take their lunch there, have receptions for visiting scholars and social events for less formal but no less compelling reasons. The Guadalajara Census Project is very much a cooperative-run enterprise with Department of History graduate students active in all phases of the project, from research design to data entry. For information on graduate study in the Department of History, go to the department's Graduate Programs page.

Q: What is the purpose of the Guadaljara Census Project? What is its function?

A: The objective of the Guadalajara Census Project is to create practical and useful historical resources from the population censuses (padrones) of Guadalajara, Mexico (1791 to 1930). One will be a primary resource in the form of an electronic database, incorporating all the surviving demographic, social, economic and personal data for all individuals, families and institutions recorded in the censuses of 1791, 1813-14, 1821, 1822, 1824, 1838-42, 1888 and 1930. (An exception is the data for 1930, which is a sample, not a complete count of all persons.) Another resource will be a series of essays, guides, photos and maps to explain the history of the city, the censusesand the era, to give technical explanations of the database, to provide practical information on the procedures and problems encountered in creating the database and to provide step-by-step guides to facilitate the use of the data. The documentation is designed to accommodate researchers, teachers, students and genealogists. In so far as practical, all essays and instructions will be available in both English and Spanish. The fundamental guiding principle is to make the data easily accessible to as broad a range of user as possible. For further details, see Statement of Purpose.

Q: From where and whom does the Guadalajara Census Project receive its support?

A: Since its formal founding in 1993, the GCP has received strong financial and administrative support from the Department of History at Florida State University, including past chair Richard Greaves and current Chair Neil Jumonville. Significant funding also has been provided by FSU's College of Arts and Sciences (Dean Donald Foss) and FSU's Vice President for Research. The project has been awarded two generous grants (1999-2004) which were secured by Dr. Raymond E. Bye, Vice President for Research at Florida State Universityfrom the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access (Senior Program Officer, Helen Agüera) . Also important to the GCP mission are the History Department's Latin Americanists. Besides Rod Anderson, there are Matt Childs, Joan Casanovas, and Robinson Herrera. For additional information regarding GCP's support, go to Acknowledgments.

Q: Why does this site feature only Guadalajara, Mexico?

A. There are three reasons why Gudadalajara is featured: 1) Guadalajara is an important city in Latin America; 2) Guadalajara's census data is particularly good, and 3) Rodney Anderson, the Director of the Project is a specialist in the history of Guadalajara. For additional reasons, read the essay entitled Why Guadalajara?

Q: Do you plan to add additional cities to the website?

A. No.

Q: Is the Spanish version a literal translation of the English version of the website?

A. No. Although the majority of the essays in Spanish are literal translations, some are paraphrased of the original English version.

Q: What are the major sections of the website and what information do they contain?

A. The eight major topic areas of this website are explained in detail on the page entitled "How to Navigate the Guadalajara Census Project Website."

Q: Is this project sponsored by the U.S. government?

A. No. It is a university sponsored project, with majority financing from funds allocated by the Florida State University and a minority (but substantial) financing of funds obtained from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access. Neither federal nor state agencies are responsible for the content of this site. For additional information, go to Acknowledgements.

Q: Is this project sponsored by the Mexican government?

A. No. Neither the Mexican government, nor any of its agencies of the state of Jalisco have sponsored this project. However, the Guadalajara city government through the Archivo Histórico Municipal de Guadalajara has cooperated generously making available much of the data and documents cited within this website. Simply put, neither this site nor the project on which it is based would be possible without the support of the city of Guadalajara, and, of course, the many Mexican citizens who provided information, copied documents, lent unstinted assistance and gave enthusiastic support. For additional information, go to Acknowledgements.

Q: Who will use the website?

»  Students: Doing specialized research on Guadalajara, quantitative methods or specific topics
     in colonial Latin American history

»  Researchers of students who are about to create their own database from census materials     or who are participating in a project which requires quantitative methods. It is especially useful     for social historians or students of social history who have little background in statistics or data     entry.

» Genealogists and family historians who are researching individuals living in 19th century     Guadalajara and wish to know the location, availability and credibility of census documents of     that era and/or the history of the era and of the population counts.

» Researchers, teachers or students who are interpreting and/or coding Latin American     household and family structures. The GCP offer an alternative coding scheme to that of     Cambridge demographic historian Peter Laslett. See Database/Household and Family     Structure or Rules of the Code

Q: Is the Guadalajara Census Project database available online?

A. No. The database is available by CD-ROM, in two volumes. Volume 1 of the database will include the censuses of 1821 and 1822. The database is comprised of 57,092 cases (mainly individuals but also vacant houses), 88 variables. The database is divided into two years. 1821 has 35,388 cases (ie, individuals with a few vacant houses). The official population of Guadalajara in 1821 lists 38,087 individuals, as 23 out of 24 districts’ returns survived. Our data from 1822 is 21,804 cases, as only about half of that years’ returns have survived. Volume 1 will be available in the fall of 2003. See CD ROM Information

Q: How many cases and variables does the CD-ROM, vol. 1 contain?

A. The database is comprised of 57,092 cases (mainly individuals but also vacant houses), 88 variables. 1821 has 35,388 cases. 1822 has 21,804 cases. The official coun for 1821 lists 38, 087 individuals. Both were full censuses taken by different census takers, but only about half of the returns have survived for 1822. For 1821, 23 our of 24 districts' returns survived.

Q: What years will volume 2 of the GCP CD-ROM feature and when will it be available?

A. The years are 1791, 1813-14, 1824, 1838-42, 1930. Total cases estimated at 84,406. Projected release date is 2005. Complete returns have survived only for 1791 and 1930. The latter is a one household in ten sample (approximately 18,000 individuals), rather than a complete count of all individuals. For more details on these censuses, see Censuses.

Q: Are all those years complete manuscript census returns?

A.Complete returns have survived only for 1791 and 1930. The latter is a one household in ten sample (approximately 18,000 individuals), rather than a complete count of all individuals. See Censuses/Guadalajara Census History: 1600-1850.

Q: Will it be necessary to have training in statistics or a background in quantitative methods to use the data described in this site (or available in the CD-ROM series), or to understand the essays?

A.No! No! No! Not only are non-technical guides provided to aid novice users of statistics (and computer software) but the GCP believes strongly that statistics need be no more difficult to use than any other tool available to students of history. See About the Guadalajara Census Project/Statement of Purpose.

 

 

 

 

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