Over a period of several summers, and with the essential help of a number of undergraduate and graduate students, we've build a database containing information on over 5,000 federal appointments which required confirmation by the Senate. The data covers the period of 1789 to 1830, and include appointments for the cabinet, the judiciary, customs officers, and more.
To support the entry, review and correction of the data, the HDW deployed its standard, open-source relational database management solution. Data is stored in a MySQL database. Users access the database through an HDW-customized version of the Django admin functions., and additional Django customizations were written specifically for the project. The database application is served from an OS/X server, and a sandbox was created on a separate Linux server so students could explore the data using command line, spreadsheet and Google tools.