Counting Cows and Hawking Horses: Quantifying Historic Livestock Data in Montana, 1860-1915.

Kerri Clement, University of Colorado Boulder

The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Park has been in operation in Montana since the 1860s, where the ranch's owners and stock played a central role in the establishment of the cattle and horse industry in the Northern American Rockies and into southern Canada. This paper seeks to quantify and trace the historical livestock networks involved with the Grant-Kohrs ranch by constructing databases of historic livestock data. This ongoing digital history project translates historic accounting and livestock records into quantifiable, digital formats that in turn can be used by a variety of researchers. Furthermore, this paper examines the usefulness of this data for historians, as well as the project’s applicability as a model for quantifying other forms of non-digitized historical data. The project demonstrates that digital history can provide critical space for rethinking, quantifying, and visualizing new forms of historical data and sources.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 137. Commodity data is messy: Issues in commodity production and quantification