A History of Data: The Beginnings of the MPC

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Bethel University Professor of History Diana L. Magnuson is documenting the growth of the Minnesota Population Center. Believing that preserving institutional memory is vital, the Center is supporting Magnuson’s work to capture oral histories of past and present MPC faculty and staff.

This is the first in a three-part series, featuring oral histories from John Adams, Todd Gardner, Dianne Star, and Dan Kallgren which offer a glimpse of the MPC before it was the MPC.

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The Case of the Missing Prostitutes in Late 19th Century London

Image: Prostitutes offer their services in the Haymarket, engraving by an unnamed artist. From London Labour and the London Poor: Volume Four by Henry Mayhew.
Image: Prostitutes offer their services in the Haymarket, engraving by an unnamed artist. From London Labour and the London Poor: Volume Four by Henry Mayhew.

Where are all the prostitutes in the census records of London 1881? In her book, Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women Class and the State , Judith Walkowitz says that a 19th century city like London (where prostitution was legal) had one prostitute per 36 inhabitants. Based on the 1881 London population records, that amounts to about 24,000 prostitutes. The coded occupations in 1881 London data, however, show no signs of prostitutes anywhere.

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