Membership of the IMO Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (1913-1947)

Published: 6 May 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/pds6tz443t.1
Giuditta Parolini


The dataset has been built as part of a research project on the history of agricultural meteorology in the first half of the twentieth century. The dataset provides information on the members of the technical commission on agriculture established by the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) in the years 1913-1947. The main sources used to build the dataset are the proceedings of the meetings held by the IMO, and in particular the membership lists printed in these proceedings. Information provided by these primary sources has been constantly examined for consistency and correctness and, whenever possible, biographical resources on individual members have been consulted and mentioned in the dataset here presented. The sql files in the dataset allow to re-build the MySQL database that was created to investigate the commission membership and its transformation over time. A copy of the data tables is also available in csv format for the users who wish to access only the data. In the dataset there are twelve tables. Eleven tables provide information (affiliation, nation, city, role in the commission) on the scientists listed as members of the commission for a specific time period. There is a table for each year (1913, 1919, 1921, 1923, 1926, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1937, 1946, 1947) in which a membership list is available. NationH and NationG stands for Nation(History) and Nation(Geography), similarly for cityH and cityG. In this way, it is possible to place commission members also within modern countries and cities, not only their historical counterparts, if one wishes to build a map of the members’ location using current geodata. The role of each member within the commission has only three possible options: president, secretary/vice-president, member. The last table in the dataset, m_all, provides a comprehensive list of all the over one-hundred members of the commission with some biographical details on them (when available). The idmembers value is the unique identifier for each member within this dataset. This dataset has been used in an extensive investigation on the role that the IMO had in promoting international collaboration in agricultural meteorology during the first half of the twentieth century. The data here gathered, however, can be of interest beyond the history of agricultural meteorology. They also offer relevant materials to scholars more generally concerned with the work of the IMO, and the database structure provides a template for similar data collection work on other IMO technical commissions. These commissions were key places for sharing meteorological and climatological knowledge between mid-nineteenth century and mid-twentieth century and they certainly deserve more attention than the one they have so far received from scholars. I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) (Project No. 321660352) in the preparation of this dataset.


Steps to reproduce

In order to rebuild the database, you just need to have MySQL Community Edition installed. MySQL Community Edition can be downloaded for free here Once installed, you can import data tables and system configuration (all the sql files) available in the dataset to re-build the database. You can then query the database either by using the command line or with an interface like MySQL Workbench. The latter is available here to download:


Technische Universitat Berlin Fakultat I Geisteswissenschaften


Meteorology, History of Science, Agrometeorology