When given the task of selecting a dataset to use for this class, I wanted to pick something that would be both interesting and useful to me and my current research. That being said, I looked for data dealing with the history of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Unfortunately, when your academic research interest is not widely studied, it is not easy to find neatly compiled datasets ready for your use. So for the purposes of this class, I decided to compile my own dataset. Since I am interested in urban migrations amongst the Lumbee, I decided to turn to the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. In UF’s digital archive, there is a compilation of interviews conducted with, “urban Lumbees.” Click here to view the collection. In order to extract the data from these transcribed interviews, I created a spreadsheet with the following categories.

Interview ID
Year of Interview
Birth Place
Level of Education
Occupation after Moving Away
Current Occupation
Current Town
Distinct Indian Identity (y/n)
Inferiority Complex (y/n)
Interesting Side Notes

All of these categories should be self explanatory, except for the last two, which are asking if the individual feels he or she has a distinct Indian identity and if they have ever felt inferior because of their Indian identity. After reviewing 42 interviews, I created a dataset in which I can use to address and explore several research questions. Such questions include the following.

Why did Lumbee families relocate to urban centers?
When did these migrations occur? Are they reactionary to larger historical events or trends?
What kind of educational background do these individuals have?
What type of jobs do these individuals have?
How do these people view themselves in their communities?
Do these people feel as if they are treated as inferior to those in the surrounding communities, in their workplaces, or schools?

Though this dataset will be useful to answer some baseline questions, there will still be a lot of gaps to explore in the questions I am interested in. Because I am working with data extracted from oral history, I am limited to the information provided in the interviews. In order to gain a fuller understanding about these stories, It would be useful to do extra research to provide essential historical context. In order for this data to be meaningful to people, it would be helpful to display the information in some type of visual or interactive format.