Monday, March 16, 2009

Disneyland Resort Era

In the past couple of weeks, I've been hard at work on a new category I've added to the thesaurus: DLRERA, short for Disneyland Resort Era. I'm currently thesaurusing four Disneyland telephone directories, covering a couple of decades. In addition to the Cast Members named in these, I had many from Disneylanders, Disneyland Lines, and other sources. I currently have over 6,600 Cast Member names recorded, and finally realized it would be useful to add some temporal perspective.

So, I created a new category (DLRERA, with decades as subcategories) and also created new terms for 1950s Cast Members, 1960s Cast Members, 1970s Cast Members, 1980s Cast Members, 1990s Cast Members, and 2000s Cast Members. While the Cast Member terms denote something specific, the DLRERA category is a little more ambiguous. I have a working definition that a a decade should be applied to a term if it had some presence in or influence on the Disneyland Resort during that time. A Cast Member who worked at the Park in the 1970s would have the 1970s category applied, obviously. I worked at Disneyland in the 2000s, but I've also applied 1990s to myself because I was active in the Usenet community, had a popular Disneyland web site, co-founded the Bruce Gordon Fan Club, etc., etc. The categories are sort of a way of pulling all the terms for a particular decade together.

I have not gone through to apply this categorization to every term in the thesaurus just yet (and frankly, I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble of categorizing all of the date terms themselves). The process of back-categorizing thousands and thousands of Cast Members was onerous enough, as I had to read the notes I'd typed about them to determine when they worked. These are the numbers I have so far, with overlap between categories possible and occurring:
1950s Cast Members: 628
1960s Cast Members: 1,203
1970s Cast Members: 2,111
1980s Cast Members: 1,096
1990s Cast Members: 1,240
2000s Cast Members: 2,779
The numbers reflect the sources I've used thus far and so shouldn't be used for statistical purposes. The number of 1970s Cast Members, in particular, reflects the large number of Disneyland Lines from early in that decade.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

A nice cerebral post from the master. Did you actually review all 6,600 names? I got blurry-eyed just reading the summary! What was the “popular Disneyland web site” that you had? The “Usenet” community, how 1990’s!

Major Pepperidge said...

There is no question that I am not cut out to be an archivist!! You must have the patience of a saint, I would go crazy!!

Kevin Kidney said...

What an amazing undertaking! You are insane. Let me know if you need any anecdotal footnotes about some of the persons I've worked with over the years. "Have I got a trunkful of dirt." ;-)

Jason Schultz said...

VDT: Yes, I reviewed all the names. I was quite pleased to find only a very few data entry errors in all those terms. I'm now over 7,200 names. My web site was "The Happiest Page on Earth." It was located at and bits and pieces can be seen at the Internet Archive (be sure to look at pre-2001 versions).

Major: If this ever started to drive me crazy, I'd take a break. :)

Kevin: Of course I want the dirt! I'll store the information in a special note that only people with the appropriate clearances could access.