debkeepr integrates non-decimal currencies that use the tripartite system of pounds, shillings, and pence into the methodologies of Digital Humanities and the practices of reproducible research. The package makes it possible for historical non-decimal currencies to behave like decimalized numeric values, while also providing support for values with multiple units whose bases can differ. This is accomplished through the implementation of the
deb_decimal classes, which are based on the infrastructure provided by the vctrs package.
debkkeepr simplifies the process of performing arithmetic calculations with non-decimal currencies — such as adding £3 13s. 4d. sterling to £8 15s. 9d. sterling — and also provides a basis for analyzing account books with thousands of transactions recorded in non-decimal currencies. The name of the
debkeepr package derives from this latter capability of analyzing historical account books that use double-entry bookkeeping.
You can install
debkeepr from GitHub with remotes:
Please open an issue if you have any questions, comments, or requests.
debkeepr package uses the nomenclature of l, s, and d to represent pounds, shillings, and pence units in non-decimal currencies. The abbreviations derive from the Latin terms libra, solidus, and denarius. The libra was a Roman measurement of weight, while the solidus and denarius were both Roman coins. The denarius was a silver coin from the era of the Republic, in contrast to the golden solidus that was issued in the Late Empire. As the production of silver coins overtook that of gold by the 8th century, a solidus came to represent 12 silver denarii coins, and 240 denarii were — for a time — made from one libra or pound of silver. The custom of counting coins in dozens (solidi) and scores of dozens (librae) spread throughout the Carolingian Empire and became engrained in much of Europe. However, a variety of currencies or monies of account used other bases for the solidus and denarius units.
debkeepr provides a consistent manner for dealing with any set of bases within a tripartite system through the
bases attribute of
deb_decimal vectors and the
unit attribute of
Translations of libra, solidus, and denarius units:
deb_decimalclasses and their use as vectors and as columns in data frames.
dafforne_accountsdata provided in
deb_decimal classes are implemented to deal with two interrelated problems inherent in historical currencies. Firstly, historical currencies consist of three separate non-decimal units: pounds, shillings, and pence. Secondly, the bases of the shillings and pence units differed by region, coinage, and era. The
deb_lsd class maintains the tripartite structure of non-decimal currencies and provides a
bases attribute to record the bases for the shillings and pence units. The print methods for both classes show the
bases attribute, and
deb_decimal vectors include the
Note that all of the functions in
debkeepr begin with the prefix
deb_, which is short for double-entry bookkeeping.
library(debkeepr) # Create deb_lsd vectors with standard bases of 20s. 12d. lsd1 <- deb_lsd(l = 3, s = 13, d = 4) lsd2 <- deb_lsd(l = 8, s = 15, d = 9) # Perform arithmetic lsd1 + lsd2 #> <deb_lsd> #>  12:9s:1d #> # Bases: 20s 12d lsd2 - lsd1 #> <deb_lsd> #>  5:2s:5d #> # Bases: 20s 12d lsd2 * 2 - lsd1 #> <deb_lsd> #>  13:18s:2d #> # Bases: 20s 12d # Combine multiple values together c(lsd1, lsd2) #> <deb_lsd> #>  3:13s:4d 8:15s:9d #> # Bases: 20s 12d
Both classes allow the user to define the solidus and denarius units of the values, enabling integration of currencies that do not use the standardized bases of 20 shillings to the pound and 12 pence to the shilling. An example of non-standard money of account is the Polish florin found in Dafforne’s practice journal in which a florin consisted of 30 gros of 18 denars. All arithmetic calculations with
deb_lsd vectors —
-, etc. — normalize the values according to the chosen bases, making it much easier to do the compound unit arithmetic that non-decimal currencies make necessary.
# Create deb_lsd vector with standard bases of 20s. 12d. (lsd3 <- deb_lsd(l = c(28, 32, 54, 18), s = c(15, 8, 18, 12), d = c(8, 11, 7, 9))) #> <deb_lsd> #>  28:15s:8d 32:8s:11d 54:18s:7d 18:12s:9d #> # Bases: 20s 12d # Same numerical values as Polish florins (florins <- deb_lsd(l = c(28, 32, 54, 18), s = c(15, 8, 18, 12), d = c(8, 11, 7, 9), bases = c(30, 18))) #> <deb_lsd> #>  28:15s:8d 32:8s:11d 54:18s:7d 18:12s:9d #> # Bases: 30s 18d # Different outcome with sum due to the bases sum(lsd3) #> <deb_lsd> #>  134:15s:11d #> # Bases: 20s 12d sum(florins) #> <deb_lsd> #>  133:24s:17d #> # Bases: 30s 18d # Normalize a non-standard value to default bases non_standard <- deb_lsd(132, 53, 35) deb_normalize(non_standard) #> <deb_lsd> #>  134:15s:11d #> # Bases: 20s 12d
deb_decimal class represents non-decimal currencies in decimalized form. The class tracks the solidus and denarius bases and the unit represented by the decimalized values through the
unit attributes. When working with decimalized data is preferable, the
deb_decimal class makes casting from and to
deb_lsd possible without losing any metadata about the
bases used, and therefore the actual value being represented.
# Create deb_decimal from numeric vector (dec1 <- deb_decimal(c(5.525, 12.235, 8.45))) #> <deb_decimal> #>  5.525 12.235 8.450 #> # Unit: libra #> # Bases: 20s 12d # Same curreny values in solidus unit (dec2 <- deb_decimal(c(110.5, 244.7, 169), unit = "s")) #> <deb_decimal> #>  110.5 244.7 169.0 #> # Unit: solidus #> # Bases: 20s 12d # Equality between different units dec1 == dec2 #>  TRUE TRUE TRUE # Combining deb_lsd and deb_decimal gives a deb_lsd vector c(dec1, lsd1, lsd2) #> <deb_lsd> #>  5:10s:6d 12:4s:8.4d 8:9s:0d 3:13s:4d 8:15s:9d #> # Bases: 20s 12d # Cast between deb_lsd and deb_decimal vectors deb_as_lsd(dec1) #> <deb_lsd> #>  5:10s:6d 12:4s:8.4d 8:9s:0d #> # Bases: 20s 12d deb_as_decimal(lsd3) #> <deb_decimal> #>  28.78333 32.44583 54.92917 18.63750 #> # Unit: libra #> # Bases: 20s 12d deb_as_decimal(florins) #> <deb_decimal> #>  28.51481 32.28704 54.61296 18.41667 #> # Unit: libra #> # Bases: 30s 18d # Represented by solidus/shillings unit deb_as_decimal(lsd3, unit = "s") #> <deb_decimal> #>  575.6667 648.9167 1098.5833 372.7500 #> # Unit: solidus #> # Bases: 20s 12d # Represented by denarius/pence unit deb_as_decimal(lsd3, unit = "d") #> <deb_decimal> #>  6908 7787 13183 4473 #> # Unit: denarius #> # Bases: 20s 12d # Either class can be cast to base numeric, which, # of course, leads to the loss of all metadata as.numeric(lsd3) #>  28.78333 32.44583 54.92917 18.63750 as.numeric(dec1) #>  5.525 12.235 8.450
See the Getting Started with debkeepr vignette for an in depth discussion of the similarities and differences between the two classes.
deb_lsdclass has the advantage of maintaining the structure and values used by non-decimal currencies, making it easier to identify and present such values.
deb_decimalimplements a wider array of mathematical functions and arithmetic operations than
vctrspackage more fully — which should happen with version 0.9.0 —
deb_lsdvectors do not work with the
arrange(). However, the full complement of
dplyrfunctions work with
deb_lsdvectors. In contrast,
deb_decimalvectors work properly with
ggplot2, though explicitly identifying the scale as continuous — with
scale_x_continuous()— is needed to avoid the appearance of a message.
deb_as_decimal()make it possible to move between the two classes without losing any data.
deb_decimalvectors cannot be combined in a single function if they have different
bases. The only way to transform the bases of
deb_decimalvectors is explicitly with