Exploring Republican China in the USC Digital Library: An Experimental Metadata Analysis


After normalizing and standardizing the metadata of corporate names, we discovered 85 unique organizations, 82% of which came from the Pedro Loureiro Collection. These organizations are primarily non-profit associations and societies (27 or 31.8%), military and government agencies (26 or 30.6%), companies and corporations (22 or 25.9%), and schools and colleges (7 or 8.2%) spread across the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and Germany. We attempted to visualize all organizations using a static treemap, as shown below, in the same way that we did with all of the names in the digital collections. 

Thirty-two or 37.6% of these organizations had operated in Republican China, nearly half of which (14 or 45%) were companies and corporations primarily based in Shanghai. The most prominent category was car dealerships owned by Mark Moody in Shanghai during the 1930s, including Fiat Motor Company, Packard Motor Company, Harking Motors, Condor Motors, and Chrysler Motors.

We experimented with symbol maps in Tableau Public to showcase the geographic distribution of all organizations in China. The multi-color pie charts on the interactive map indicate that multiple organizations were once located in the same area.

We also created an interactive tree map in Tableau Public to visualize all of these organizations in China. When you hover over or click on a block in the chart, a pop-up window appears with the organization name, a link to the relevant items in the digital collections, and the number of occurrences. ** To view a list of related items in the digital collections for an organization based in China, you can first choose the organization block, then select and highlight the link in the pop-up window, and finally right click your mouse to either copy and paste the link into a new window or go to the link. (** It is recommended that you use Google Chrome for this functionality.)

This page has paths: