There are over 1,400 unique occupations represented in the first edition of PFE. You will see that many people practiced more than one occupation at a time and many practiced multiple occupations during their lifetime. We have used a standard vocabulary to help categorize occupations (subject--subcategory here), but you can search for a known occupation, such as tavern keeper. You can look at occupations practiced by women when they are known. It is less certain for women what occupation they practiced. When nothing is explicitly stated no occupation is provided. (For example, we did not assign a role of “housekeepers” to women who raised children even though this can legitimately be described as an occupation).
The standardized vocabulary in use is Human Relations Area Files (HRAF). The primary advantage HRAF provides is its broad spectrum of generic descriptive categories: these classifications obviate the need to define occupations no longer practiced. For instance, HRAF's super- and sub-categories classify a "cradler" as someone active in agriculture, and more specifically, tillage. These categories can be used to organize your search if you are interested in looking at types of occupations across the population. We will provide descriptions of occupations in the second edition.
PFE was developed with generous grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It is a publication of Documents Compass, a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia. © 2013–2017, University of Virginia Press, All rights reserved. ISBN 978-0-8139-3253-8