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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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Historical Data Sources

Historical Data Sources

(p.60) 4 Historical Data Sources
Historical Research

Elizabeth Ann Danto

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares and contrasts various historical research sources and their appropriate uses. Although effective research requires significant use of primary sources, secondary sources will help contextualize, explicate, and defend the study’s hypothesis. The sources for historical research are many and varied, and their geographic spread varies with the scope of the study. The study’s hypothesis guides researchers as they decide on their prospective sources including primary, secondary, interview subjects, and collections of realia. The best project includes as wide a sampling of sources as possible — not just the oldest or best-known, but anyone and anything that helps formulate a reasoned response to the historical problem.

Keywords:   historical research, research sources, interview subjects, documents, realia, primary sources, secondary sources, nontraditional sources

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