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Historical Research$
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Elizabeth Ann Danto

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333060.001.0001

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Preparing to Collect Historical Data

Preparing to Collect Historical Data

(p.42) 3 Preparing to Collect Historical Data
Historical Research

Elizabeth Ann Danto

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the preliminary phases of collecting historical evidence for social work and social welfare history research. Data collection (or acquisition) can be characterized as a strategy — a course of action for assembling data from various sources and then enriching that data so as to create valuable and reusable information. Like any strategy, this one must be thoroughly designed and planned, both as a study tool and as a process that leads to a successful project. It is important to do solid preparatory research before going to work in archives. The first phase of data collection has already been articulated in the study’s rationale; the second is creating a data capture instrument; the third is plumbing the selected historical sources for information that supports or rejects the study’s hypothesis.

Keywords:   data collection, historical evidence, archival data, oral history data, information, preparatory research

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