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While comparative anthropology generally asks the question of how values and attitudes change across cultures, others social scientists have proposed that the value systems of a given community or culture also change over time, adapting to the political and economic environment. It is impossible to test this hypothesis by administering the traditional questionnaires and surveys to people from the past, but it is possible instead use their extant written text, to the extent their discourse reflects the dominant values in a community. This follows a general trend in psychometrics, where everything from personality profiles to mental health disorders have been shown to be accessible via analysis of the written work of an individual. In particular, due to the increasing availability of extensive digitized corpora of texts published over centuries, it is possible analyse the values expressed in these contents on a vast scale. I will explore this possibility by introducing a new methodology based on the automatic analysis of historical newspapers and other corpora of digitalized text.