Exploring the Daschle Collection using Text Mining

Image credit: Briggs Library


A U.S. Senator from South Dakota donated documents that were accumulated during his service as a house representative and senator to be housed at the Bridges library at South Dakota State University. This project investigated the utility of quantitative statistical methods to explore some portions of this vast document collection. The available scanned documents and emails from constituents are analyzed using natural language processing methods including the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model. This model identified major topics being discussed in a given collection of documents. Important events and popular issues from the Senator Daschles career are reflected in the changing topics from the model. These quantitative statistical methods provide a summary of the massive amount of text without requiring significant human effort or time and can be applied to similar collections.

Damon Bayer
Damon Bayer
Statistics PhD Student

I’m a statistician interested in infectious diseases and diabetes.