EH.net is owned and operated by the Economic History Association with the support of other sponsoring organizations.
Historical Labor Statistics Project - Read Me
Historical Labor Statistics Project (HLSP)
CONTENTS 1. What Is the Historical Labor Statistics Project? 2. Formats of Data Sets and Codebooks 3. Identifying Data 4. Getting Files from this FTP Site 5. Hints on Editing ASCII Data Sets 6. Suggested Citation 7. Disclaimer 8. Acknowledgments 1. What Is the Historical Labor Statistics Project? The Historical Labor Statistics Project (HLSP) was established in August 1990. This effort is supported by the All-University of California Group in Economic History, the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Business and Economic Research in Berkeley, and the Laboratory for Historical Research in Riverside. The HLSP's first objective is to collect in machine-readable format detailed data on American labor markets selected from over 150 separate investigations undertaken between 1874 and 1920 by the Bureaus of Labor Statistics established by the governments of 29 states. To date we have collected, coded, documented, and distributed 36 data sets. Thirty-five of the data sets are cross-sectional surveys of workers with information on working conditions, living standards, family demography, and household economy. One data set contains two cross-sectional surveys of firms. For a description of the Historical Labor Statistics Project and an overview of the nature of the data contained in these data sets see: Susan B. Carter, Roger L. Ransom, and Richard Sutch, "The Historical Labor Statistics Project at the University of California," Historical Methods 24 [Spring 1991]: 52-65. We also suggest that you examine the original state labor bureau report for the data set in which you are interested. Microform reproductions of these reports are available through the interlibrary loan office of any research library. Each data set presented here is a one-hundred percent reproduction of the original. 2. Formats of Data Sets and Codebooks Data is provided in four formats: SAS Transport, Stata System, Lotus WK1 Worksheet, and ASCII. You can easily distinguish each format by looking at filename's extension as shown below: .dta --- Data sets in Stata format .dos --- Data sets in ASCII format .tpt --- Data sets in SAS transport format .wk1 --- Data sets in Lotus format The data were originally developed in Stata System format. All the other formats were transferred from Stata. Because of possible errors that may have crept in during the transfer process we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data in non-Stata formats. If users discover problems with non-STATA data sets we suggest they try the Stata format. For the data sets in ASCII format, we have included a header in each file. The header shows the variable names and their corresponding lines. Before using the ASCII-format data sets this header must be removed. The codebooks are provided in two formats: WordPerfect 5.1 and ASCII. Their filename extension are .cdb and .asc respectively. We selected HP Laserjet Series II printer when developing these codebooks. If users retrieve codebooks into Wordperfect 5.1 with another printer driver installed, the table layouts in the codebook may look somewhat different from our original intention. The codebooks in ASCII format were derived from the WordPerfect 5.1 format. If any problem is encountered in the ASCII format, we suggest trying the WordPerfect format. 3. Identifying Data To help you identify the data sets which best meet your research needs we have provided an easy-to-use data search program called the HLSP Data Search System. This system allows you to search the complete corpus of data according to variable, codebook, state, year and subject. Each of these search methods will eventually lead to a series of screens showing all the questions asked in some particular survey. We strongly recommend you download this program first. Its file name is hlspmenu.exe. This program can only run on DOS environment. For the detailed system requirements and instruction, please read the two readme files included in hlspmenu.exe. 4. Getting Files from this FTP Site Once you have selected the data sets you want, you will need to download them and their codebooks from this ftp site. All HLSP data sets and codebooks are kept in the ftp site belonging to the Cliometric Society, housed at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. The address of the ftp site is cs.eh.net. No matter where you get this readme file, you must go to that ftp site in order to obtain the data sets, codebooks, and utility files mentioned here.
For users who may not be familiar with ftp procedure, we provide the following step-by-step guide. All users should pay particular attention to paragraph . It is required of all users of HLSP data.  From your mainframe account, type: $ftp cs.eh.net assuming '$' is your system prompt.  You will see the prompt Name: Type: anonymous  You will see the prompt PASSWORD:. Then type: your complete e-mail address You should then see a cluster of greetings, concluding with the prompt ftp>. You are now inside the ftp site. Once inside, all the directory names and file names are case-sensitive.  Type the following command to change to the subdirectory where the HLSP files are kept: cd pub/datasets/HLSP/  To examine the directory of files type: dir You will see the complete set of HLSP files.  Select the file you wish. Then determine whether it is in binary format or ASCII format. You need to know this because you must issue the 'binary' command before you can get binary files and the 'ascii' command before you can get ASCII files. The system default transfer mode is ascii, therefore if you get ASCII files right after logging in, you may omit the 'ascii' command. The format of the files can be determined by examining the extension. Files with .TXT, .dos, and .asc extensions are in ASCII format. All the other files are in binary format.  Use the following commands to get the files you have selected: get README.TXT --- to get this readme file. Note that the filename is in upper case get ks13.wk1 --- to get one file mget k*.* --- to get all files be- ginning with the letter "k" mget ks13.* --- to get all ks13 files including data sets and codebooks in all formats  After you have transferred all the files you want and you are ready to leave the ftp site, type: bye You should return to your own system prompt. 5. Hints on Editing ASCII Data Sets Before using the data sets in ASCII format, you may need to remove the header (See Section 2 for more information). To do so, you may use any text editor. The DOS Editor will do. If some word processor, such as Wordperfect is used, be sure to save the revised file in ASCII text format. Some of the data sets may be too large to fit in your text editor. For this reason we include a shareware named Tech-Edit 2.61 (te261.exe is a self-extracting zip file) in the directory. This is an unregistered program. Users can try this for the limited period of time specified by the authors of the program. To use it for longer than the specified period, users should register Tech-Edit 2.61 with the authors. For more information, please read enclosed documentation files in te261.exe. Even with Tech-Edit 2.6, mi11.dos cannot be managed on 386 or 486 computers with less than 8 MB of memory. We circumvented this problem by first splitting the file. After completing work on each of the split files we used the same utility to re-join them. If you use Tech-Edit 2.6, we suggest splitting mi11.dos into two files; the first should include lines 1 to 24,998, the second should include the rest of the lines. This approach ensures that no single case will be split apart. 6. Suggested Citation We are providing these data sets free of charge. In exchange, we ask that you respect the following requests:  In order to evaluate the impact of our project, we need to know who uses which data sets. To help us to trace the users, please provide accurate information when you write to email@example.com for the password.  Any use of the data in published reports or working papers should appropriately acknowledge the University of California Historical Labor Statistics Project and cite the relevant Codebook in its list of references.  We ask that you promptly inform us of any errors or ambiguities uncovered in the process of working with the data. Only if we receive such feedback can we quickly purge the data files of errors and update them on timely basis.  We would appreciate receiving copies of all research memorandums, term papers, working papers, and submitted manuscripts that use or refer to the HLSP data. Not only will this enable us to track usage and to inform others of your work, but we can also alert you to any errors detected or changes in the data. We can also inform you of the work of others on related topics.  Please do not pass the data sets on to others without notifying us. We are, of course, very happy to supply any new users with the data directly, and free of charge. 7. Disclaimer We have made every effort to check the accuracy of our data entry and documentation, but we cannot ensure that our product is error-free. HLSP assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the data sets and codebooks. We strongly recommend that users obtain the original survey report publications and check our coded data for themselves. These publications may be obtained through the inter-library loan office of most research libraries. 8. Acknowledgements The Historical Labor Statistics Project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation; the All-University of California Group in Economic History; and the Institute of Business and Economic Research and the Laboratory for Historical Research, both of the University of California. We would like to thank the Cliometric Society, housed at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, for technical assistance and for providing disk space in its gopher and ftp sites. Comments and questions may be sent to: The Historical Labor Statistics Project Attn: Richard Sutch Institute of Business and Economic Research University of California Berkeley, CA 94720 Susan B. Carter Roger L. Ransom Richard Sutch Hongcheng Zhao