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HY 300: Historian's Craft

Links to history resources and guides for use as building blocks for historical research.

Basic Resources

Going to the Sources

Anthony Brundage has revised his popular book to render an even more detailed, practical and 'user friendly' tool for students faced with what can be a daunting task: the researching and writing of a research paper or historiographical essay. After an introductory chapter that describes the different schools of historical thought, Going to the Sources becomes a handy manual, helping the reader to identify and access the many sources -- both old and new -- available to historical researchers. Accordingly, this new edition includes a detailed discussion of electronic databases and a list of World Wide Web sites devoted to history.

The Historian's Toolbox

Selected Contents: Introduction: History as FunPart   I. The Craft of History 1. The Past  2. Story  3. History  4. Metahistory  5. Antihistory  6. The Present  7. The FuturePart    II. The Tools of History  8. Doing History: An Overview  9. Sources and Evidence  10. Credit and Acknowledgment  11. Narrative and Explanation  12. Interpretation  13. Speculation  14. Everyday History

The Information-Literate Historian

Suitable for history students, this primer is a guide to doing research in order to write a research paper, create a website, or do a PowerPoint presentation. It talks about how to do research on the Internet and how to differentiate between reliable and unreliable historical information on the Web.

The Pursuit of History

This Revised EDITION of The Pursuit of History examines important questions about historians and their work: Why do we study history? What use is it? How do we construct our knowledge of the past? Can we apply to history the methods and objectives of the social sciences? What are the limitations of historical evidence? What different kinds of history are being written today? History is more relevant and popular today than ever. John Tosh's guide is the essential and accessible introduction to every aspect of the practice of history.

From Reliable Sources

Reliable Sources is a lively introduction to historical methodology, an overview of the techniques historians must master in order to reconstruct the past. Its focus on the basics of source criticism, rather than on how to find references or on the process of writing, makes it an invaluable guide for all students of history and for anyone who must extract meaning from written and unwritten sources. Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier explore the methods employed by historians to establish the reliability of materials; how they choose, authenticate, decode, compare, and, finally, interpret those sources. Illustrating their discussion with examples from the distant past as well as more contemporary events, they pay particular attention to recent information media, such as television, film, and videotape. The authors do not subscribe to the positivist belief that the historian can attain objective and total knowledge of the past. Instead, they argue that each generation of historians develops its own perspective, and that our understanding of the past is constantly reshaped by the historian and the world he or she inhabits.

Web As History

The World Wide Web has now been in use for more than 20 years. From early browsers to today's principal source of information, entertainment and much else, the Web is an integral part of our daily lives, to the extent that some people believe 'if it's not online, it doesn't exist.' While this statement is not entirely true, it is becoming increasingly accurate, and reflects the Web's role as an indispensable treasure trove. It is curious, therefore, that historians and social scientists have thus far made little use of the Web to investigate historical patterns of culture and society, despite making good use of letters, novels, newspapers, radio and television programmes, and other pre-digital artefacts. This volume argues that now is the time to question what we have learnt from the Web so far.