Archives Research Tutorial

Introduction

Pre-planning

What records do we have?

What should you expect?

Finding & accessing records

Handling records

Records appraisal & analysis

Integrating records into your assignment

Citing records in your assignment


Records Appraisal & Analysis

While viewing archival records you will often come across many different pieces of information that might be useful for your research paper. Sometimes it will be impossible to include all this information in your assignment, so it is important to appraise the value of these records to your research paper and decide what should and should not be included. The usefulness of a given record will depend on your own personal research goals, but try to choose the fullest and most complete records possible.

One individual record may not always tell you the whole story behind an event. It is important to approach archival records critically and "read between the lines". Sometimes a record's context can even provide more historical insight that its content. While examining primary sources there are a few important questions to ask.


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