historical collections for researchers

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Making the most of historical collections and archives. Delivered by our Academic Liaison Library for History, and our Head of Heritage Collections Education Team


  • 1. Historic collection for researchersSarah Price and Richard Pears

2. Why use them?Take away from history why, how andto what end things have been done, andwhether the thing done hath succeededaccording to reason; and all that remainswill be an idle sport and foolery, than aprofitable instruction; and though for thepresent it may delight, for the future itcannot profit. 3. Finding material: where to start? Secondary reading Bibliographies Footnotes/references Tutors Reference works Bibliographies Guides Online guides 4. Finding archival materialFinding the right archive Not organised in the same way as books Key is the creator or creating body Remember -not everything has survived - not everything has been kept - not everything is easy to find 5. Finding archival materialArchive catalogues Each archive will have own catalogue Not all online Not all complete Durham University Special Collections National Archives Search the Archives Access to Archives ARCHON 6. Finding archival materialSearch strategies Think laterally Combine search terms Boolean searching Use wild card/fuzzy searchesFinding material Locally held copies Printed sources Online sources many from Library catalogue 7. Full text online collections 8. E-books as primary sources 9. Accessing online resources Catalogue http://library.dur.ac.uk/ Definitive listingwww.dur.ac.uk/library/resources/online/databases/ Subject filterwww.dur.ac.uk/library/resources/subject/ for yourown subject area www.dur.ac.uk/library/history forhistoric resources 10. Accessing printed books Rare books held in archives but listed in librarycatalogues Main collections in Durham University Librarycatalogue and listed on Special Collectionspages Some collections at other institutions inCOPAC Printed collections of sources or translations 11. Secondary sources Catalogues for monographs Bibliographic databases for journal articlesand reviews e.g. Historical Abstracts, Jstor,IBSS Theses e.g. Index to theses, EThOS Access by visiting (SCONUL Access) orborrowing (Document Delivery Service) 12. Pathways in archives 13. Pathways and journeys DiariesPolice recordsLocal National NewspapersParish recordsBusinessrecords 14. Pathways and journeys 15. Research tripsContact before visit Opening times, ID, facilities, advance orderingGo prepared Paper, pencils, laptop, camera, references Clothes!Be organised Check references, take full notes Ask for help 16. Understanding archival referencesHO 42/95 f.375Collection == CollectionHome Office Home OfficeDivision == DivisionDomestic Domestic CorrespondenceCorrespondence Subdivision ==Subdivisionpart year 1808 part year 1808Folio FolioHO 42: The National Archives, Home Office,Domestic Correspondence, George III 17. Archival references: other terms Folio Page Quire Recto and verso 18. Copyright Archival material is still subject to copyrightlaw Some records are restricted check! Normally okay to cite in research withoutpermission Situation may change if work is beingpublished 19. Copyright 20. Freedom of Information FOI Act passed in 2000 and came into fulleffect from 2005 Information is assumed to be open unlessone of the specified exemptions applies Anyone can send in a written request Is a right of appeal 21. Useful linksNational Register of Archiveswww.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/default.aspAccess 2 Archiveshttp://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/ARCHONhttp://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon/


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