Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Visualisations
A unique series of interactive visualisations has been created by Equate Scotland student intern Emma Carroll, and Wikimedian in Residence Ewan McAndrew, as part of a 3 month long Data and Visualisation Internship which aimed to geographically locate and visualise the different locations recorded within the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database, and find the place of residence of 3,141 accused Scottish witches. The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft project was led by Julian Goodare and Louise Yeoman of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.
Data from the survey database was uploaded into Wikidata, as structured, machine-readable, linked open data and enriched with the location of detentions, trials, place of death, and more. This data can now be directly queried using the Wikidata Query Service, geographically projected onto maps using Leaflet, or downloaded into a CSV file and uploaded onto ArcGIS Online. Through Emma’s detective work around 500 place-names have been located using Ordnance Survey maps, place-name books, historical maps, and gazetteers.
Speaking in a Scotsman newspaper article, Wikimedian Ewan McAndrew said:
“The tragedy is that Scotland had five times the number of executions of women. The idea of being able to plot these on a map really brings it home. These places are near everyone. There does seem to be a growing movement that we need to be remembering these women, remembering what happened and understanding what happened.”
You can view the Witches interactive maps here: witches.is.ed.ac.uk and learn more about the Emma’s internship here: Witchfinder General – Data Visualisation Internship.