The Volkswagenwerk Foundation supported a project entitled "The Comparative Analysis of Social Structure Using Large-Scale Datasets" (Vergleichende Analysen der Sozialstruktur mit Massendaten, or VASMA) from 1979 to 1984 under the direction of Prof. Dr. Walter Müller of the University of Mannheim. Historical data series derived from official statistical sources were compiled in this project, and the information thereby made available is of considerable importance for the historical analysis of social structure. Machine-readable tables addressing numerous dimensions of the workplace census (since 1875) and the occupation census (since 1882) were prepared. These tables made it possible to trace key aspects of social change for over a century (until 1970) without having to consult the often inaccessible individual census volumes. The VASMA project thus contributed not only to diachronic comparative research in employment structure changes, but also to the improvement of data infrastructure in social sciences.
German Microdata Lab has taken the data which were prepared by VASMA, and made it available to the research community. The VASMA results include 46 tables covering occupation censuses from 1882 to 1970, and 28 tables that encompass workplace censuses from 1875 to 1970. Each table addresses numerous dimensions, which are comprehensively documented in the data handbook. The data are in ASCII format and can readily be analysed using a simple SPSS programme. An example is included which indicates the extent of the data documentation as well as the procedures that can be used in this kind of analysis. Data handbooks are also available in ASCII format and can be consulted using nearly any text editor.
When using or documenting data, the following quoting form must be used:
Kleber, Wolfgang und Angelika Willms ,1982: Historische Berufszählungen 1882-1970. Datenhandbuch. Mannheim: VASMA-Projekt, Universität Mannheim (Datenproduzent). GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, German Microdata Lab (Datendistributor).
Kleber, Wolfgang und Heinrich Ritter unter Mitarbeit von Guido Dahm, Reinhard Stockmann und Klaus Zeifang,1982: Historische Arbeitsstättenzählungen 1875-1970. Datenhandbuch. Mannheim: VASMA-Projekt, Universität Mannheim (Datenproduzent). GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, German Microdata Lab (Datendistributor).