“Making a Move: Geographic and Social Mobility in Late 19th Century Wedding Announcements in Turin La Stampa”

Sabrina Nardin, University of Arizona
Roberto Franzosi, Emory University
Jian Chen, Emory University

In 2010, La Stampa, one of the main Italian newspapers from Turin, made publicly available the historical collection of its daily newspapers as an online archive. From this archive, we manually downloaded all marriage announcements published every Sunday for the sample period 1867-1879. These announcements follow a standard format: the groom’s and bride’s names (first and last), their occupations, birth places, residences, and their date of marriage. Once downloaded, we cleaned the data with the help of natural language processing and data mining techniques such as tokenization, Named Entity Recognition (NER) for information extraction, and clustering for data cleaning and aggregation. The final dataset includes some 20,000 couples over a 13-year period. In this paper, we focus on the social and geographic distances between marriage partners over time in the city of Turin, which, toward the end of the 19th century, was one of the most important Italian cities: it was capital of the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Italy (1861-1865), it was a central communication node with France, and experienced a rapid industrialization and demographic growth that brought its population from 250,000 inhabitants in the 1870s to over 400,000 at the beginning of the 1900s. Marriage records tell the story of the city’s demographic growth and immigration patterns. After providing descriptive statistics of the dataset, we rely on Social Network Analysis and GIS based techniques to map the partners’ socio-economic mobility (using their occupation) and geographic mobility (using their residence of origin). This paper contributes, with a unique longitudinal dataset, to the growing literature of spatial thinking in the study of the past, with specific focus on stratification, gender relations, and demography.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 185. Migration and Mobility in the 19th and 20th Centuries