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Research Resources

Resources for researchers, genealogists, and local history buffs.

How to Research

Historical research or historiography, "attempts to systematically recapture the complex nuances, the people, meanings, events, and even ideas of the past that have influenced and shaped the present". (Berg & Lure, 2012, p. 305 )

Historical research relies on a wide variety of sources, both primary & secondary including unpublished material. 

Primary Sources

  • Eyewitness accounts of events

  • Can be oral or written testimony

  • Found in public records & legal documents, minutes of meetings, corporate records, recordings, letters, diaries, journals, drawings.

  • Located in university archives, libraries or privately run collections such as local historical society.

Secondary Sources

  • Can be oral or written

  • Secondhand accounts of events

  • Found in textbooks, encyclopedias, journal articles, newspapers, biographies and other media such as films or tape recordings.

Historical research involves the following steps:

  1. Identify an idea, topic or research question

  2. Conduct a background literature review

  3. Refine the research idea and questions

  4. Determine that historical methods will be the method used

  5. Identify and locate primary and secondary data sources

  6. Evaluate the authenticity and accuracy of source materials

  7. Analyze the date and develop a narrative exposition of the findings.

Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences (9th ed.). [e-version] by Berg & Lune
ISBN: 9781292164397   Publication Date: 2

This book guides the reader through the process of research planning, carrying out one's projects, and making sense of the results. Each chapter provides examples of the best and worst approaches to the kinds of questions that arise with each form of research, as well as discussions of what makes an approach successful or not.

ISBN 9781292164397 - Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences 9th Edition Direct Textbook 

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