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My advent calendar for social scientists.
PWC have their own Christmas price index based on the 12 days of
but here is my own version.
ns. Wood engraving,
1874 – https://www.europeana.eu/portal/record/9200579/rxn7dwk6.html. Wellcome
Collection – https://wellcomecollection.org/works/rxn7dwk6. CC BY
first day: Partridges
RSPB has data on number of Grey partridges in the UK. They are
considered a species at risk. Find out more about the red list and all
the endangered species in the Uk. For a different viewpoint. The
Savills Shoot Benchmarking survey produced in conjunction with the
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust £35.81 was the average price
charged per partridge shot. The website also provides details on the
number shot, wild and introduced birds. On a more happier
note British Library Sounds provides free access to a recording of the
Second Day: Turtle Dove
The ornithology of Francis
The Biodiversity Heritage Libraryhas a fabulous collection of historic
This book by Francis Willoughby from 1678 has writings on turtle
doves in Warwick. Shockingly the dove is now on the ICUN Red list of
Find out where to see one in the Uk and listen to its call on the RSPB
and conservation efforts from Operation Turtle Dove
Third day French Hens
Too many birds in this list so I have decided to focus on eggs.The Uk
egg industry data estimates that currently an average of 199 eggs per
person per year are consumed. Within the EU – the Netherlands is the
largest exporter of eggs. The full Eurostat data enables you to look at
import and export and values.
UNCTAD trade stats data has detailed tables worldwide for birds eggs
where you can get longer term information by country and configure
your own tables.
Fourth day: calling birds
Actually this is a bit controversial as it may be ‘colly birds’ the Library
of Congress has a great discussion on its blog
The Pet Food Manufacturers Association publishes an annual survey
of the Uk pet population. Find out how popular bird keeping is in
comparison with dogs and cats . There are also regional breakdowns
for indoor birds. They are much more popular in the North east than
The American Veterinary Association has corresponding figures for
the USAFor systematic reviews on the health and well being benefits
of keeping pets try searching PubMed . Recent examples include this
2017 article on the positive impact on children and teenagers.
Fifth Day: Gold Rings
Here are some sources for investigating gold prices
The Bank of England has up to date data
LBMA has vault holding , prices and other data from the Uk industry
Measuring Worth has long term data on the price of gold from 1257
FRED has some historic data from US federal reserve and London
Sixth Day: Geese
and we are focusing on recipes!
The Wellcome Library has a great collection of digitised historic recipe
booksJane Newton from 1675 click view this page to see the original
writing. to roast green goose or ducklings! Sir Thomad Osborne from
the 17th Century has A booke of preserves cookerie and phisicall
medicines. It also has advice on green geese!
For more recent recipes. The Trove digital library from Australia has
an online archive of Australian Woman’s Weekly. See these menus for
poultry from 1936 as it is Australia there are some picnic ideas!
Seventh Day: Swans
so we are focusing on ballet and Swan Lake.
Swan Lake State Library of Queensland
Performing Arts in America 1875 -1923, from the New York
Public Library has some great images and online archives relating to
all forms of dance. They include photos of Anna Pavlova as the Dying
as well as other costumes from Swan Lake productions
The Royal Opera House Collections online have costumes
from Margot Fonteyn
as well as other costumes from Swan Lake productions
Ballet Rambert online archive has programmes of productions. The
earliest one is 1949.
Eighth Day: Maids a Milking
so we are focusing on agriculture
THe Museum of Rural Life has a wonderful online collections
database where you can see images of historic milking equipment
It also has books and journals
To search for references to academic articles on all aspects of
agriculture try the free AgEcon Search open access repository of
journal articles, conference and working papers in agricultural and
applied economics which is maintained by University of
Minnesota. AGRICOLA. A database maintained by the National
Agricultural Library USA
Ninth Day: Ladies Dancing
The Full English site from the English Folk Dance and Song Society
has song sheets and manuscripts. See this example of 24 ladies
If you prefer old films Pathe has a selection of dancing ladies
BFI player also has a free film of school country dancing from 1952.
Tenth Day: Lords
Find out about members of the House of Lords on the Uk Parliament
It also has information on what they do
The College of Arms has the Roll of the Peerage which lists hereditary
Use the Debrett’s website to find out how to address and speak to
members of the Royal Family!
Eleventh Day: Pipers
So here are some bagpipes! Explore the fab digital library collections
from the National Library of Scotland
They have a special collection of printed music with great
illustrations!Or view their moving image film of making bagpipes
The Map collection even has this satire from the 1880s
Twelfth Day finally! Drummers.
Listen to some historic recordings the Library of Congress
Jukebox has some good records. British Library Sounds has some
traditional drumming in its World Music Collection
Finally from the LSE Library Flickr a suffragette band campaigning to
keep open a skating rink! Find out more about suffrage and music in
this book. by Sylvia Pankhurst. search for bands.
(WSPU) Fife and Drum band
marching, 1909. LSE LIbrary.