Researching history online

This intensive one-day workshop will equip students with the knowledge and skills to use the internet with confidence as a tool for historical research. 

The course introduces the principal online resources available to historical researchers, and shows how to make best use of them in pursuit of primary sources and secondary literature. Suitable for those at any stage of an academic career who wish to build or refresh their skills, the course covers English-language material for British, European and world history from late antiquity to the present.

Course Details

The tools available online to the historical researcher are number, immensely diverse and constantly expanding. Internet resources have become an integral feature of many parts of the process of research for most historians: online bibliographies and library catalogues have made the gathering of secondary literature far easier, and the growing mass of digitised primary source material has not only greatly increased ease of access, but opened up the evidence to new and very powerful types of computer-assisted analysis. This one-day course provides an intensive introduction to using the internet as a tool for academic historical research, demonstrating the most useful resources, and teaching techniques to make the best use of them.

Topics covered will include:

  • Search techniques: Booleans, wildcards and choosing search terms
  • Search engines: making the best use of Google and non-specialist tools
  • Reference tools
  • Secondary sources: bibliographies, library catalogues and accessing full text online
  • Primary sources: locating traditional archival sources using the net
  • Primary sources: digital and digitised sources
  • Debate, discussion and publication online
  • Database deposition and data archives

The course will take place in the IHR, normally running from 10.30 - 17.00. It covers British, European and world history from the Romans to the present, but with an emphasis on resources in English. Applications are welcome from postgraduates, academics and all who are interested in using the net as a tool for historical research. Computers will be provided and there is no need to bring your own laptop. As places are strictly limited, early application is recommended.

Dates: TBC

Fee: TBC