Dear future mapper of 1924 Paris,

Congratulations! You’ve joined a wonderful project led by an inspiring professor. I hope that you’ll take away as much as I have from your work here (for the record, I was not obligated to say those nice things).

As a former mapper, I’d like to offer some advice I’ve learned along the way:

You’ll soon find that finding data and inserting it into a spreadsheet (that will then act as data points on the map) is at the heart of the project (or at least it was for us). Here are some suggestions to make that easier for you:

  • Finding Data:

If you’re looking for a lot of good data points, check out Le Figaro and Le Gaulois. These were daily newspapers that have listings of performances usually on page 3 or 4. Le Gaulois sometimes features reviews.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious and can speak french, check out Le Ménéstrel. It was a bi-weekly newspaper about music. It has reviews from which you can draw data points (though you might have to draw from other sources to cover all of the data points) and also features a section of performances for the week (but they’re smaller concerts, so I’m not a big fan of them).

When you’re using books, you can take a peak at the index of the books to look for the year 1924 or specific composers you’re looking for. Also, the research librarians are invaluable sources, so ask them if you have questions.

  • Spreadsheet management:

Copy and Paste is your friend- Professor Epstein knows the best tricks for efficient data entry, so listen to him. Also, don’t be afraid to enter what you know right away and then go back later to insert things like addresses that might not be listed. You can use the index of venues, which lists major theaters and their addresses, to copy and paste addresses in an efficient and consistent way. Regardless of the methods you use, make sure you clean the sheet up from time to time. There are tools on excel that enable you to highlight boxes that are empty, which can be helpful.

  • Tech resources has wonderful tutorials that can help you best use the technology at your disposal. IT and computer science students are also very helpful.

  • Final thoughts

Have fun and don’t be afraid to add seemingly irrelevant gifs to your blog posts.


Bonne Chance et Bon Courage!