by Prajeeth Kumar Koyada
February 24, 2017
As a student analyst for The Washington Papers, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of interesting tasks. One of these tasks includes figuring out how to make George Washington’s documents more accessible to the public.
For Washington’s financial records, this is especially important. While the records detail Washington’s purchases, and thus his belongings, it is difficult to gain deeper meaning from the records in their raw form. We could look at each document line-by-line—discovering that Washington bought twenty bushels of corn one day in 1790 and then sold four pounds of beef the next—but we do not gain any broad historical insight from such information. In order to see meaningful patterns and trends, we must look at the data as a whole.