Buffalo Bill's Wild West and the Progressive Image of American Indians

Jason A. Heppler and Douglas Seefeldt

Topic Modeling

The basis of the project relies upon an archive of textual documents relating to William F. Cody and Show Indians in the Wild West. The majority of documents have come from the William F. Cody Digital ARchive and were analyzed with the MALLET software package.

Topic modeling uses statistical techniques to categorize individual texts and uncover categories, patterns, and topics that might not be immediately apparent. The topics here do not emerge from the editorial decisions of the researcher, but rather are uncovered by algorithmic computation. Topics here mean groups of words that are likely to appear together in the same document. The method here is similar to Franco Moretti's concept of "distant reading" from his chapter on graphs in Graphs, Maps, and Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History.

List of Topics

1. west wild colonel charge performance street features coach rapid shot
2. cody buffalo bill col morgan afternoon started colonel sick eagle
3. indians time long big mrs brought carried honor presented picture
4. indians government department war back sheridan fort interior miss collins
5. ridge pine agency bear john chiefs dear agent major steamer
6. chief indians head white injured killed horse passengers body iron
7. make home money time young civilization years civilized manner year
8. indians bill man return william twenty bear band standing heart
9. party black iron morning tail guests friends sammy present west
10. great good dance exposition omaha city special combination camp pow
11. chief reservations major west days burke col give face fighting
12. men indian red years told good horn heard asked found
13. day night child passed woman visit leave markwith children died
14. buffalo bill bull braves ill carver red arrived painted horse
15. indian wild people part place native exhibition fact back business
16. show sioux made yesterday number times mccune grand season early
17. reservation mr order white returned members washington police report english
18. general american man began army war world land left western
19. indians commissioner europe shows secretary affairs noble treated prisoners gen
20. west states country life united great miles scout town plains