historic collections for researchers (november 2013)

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This session is delivered and designed by Dr Richard Pears and Dr Sarah Price, Durham University Library and Heritage Collections Historical Collections for Researchers (November 2013) slides. Delivered as part of the Durham University Researcher Development Programme. Further Training available at https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/research/training/


  • 1. Historic collections for researchers Sarah Price and Richard Pears

2. What are historic collections? 3. Could also mean 4. Could even include 5. Why use them? Take away from history why, how and to what end things have been done, and whether the thing done hath succeeded according to reason; and all that remains will be an idle sport and foolery, than a profitable instruction; and though for the present it may delight, for the future it cannot profit. 6. Using historic collections Finding printed secondary material Finding archive material key things to remember Useful websites and portals for archives Finding and accessing printed material Online resources Pathways in archives Tips for using archives Copyright and Freedom of Information 7. Finding material: where to start? Secondary reading Bibliographies Footnotes/references Reference works Bibliographies Guides Online guides Tutors 8. Finding secondary sources Catalogues for monographs Bibliographic databases for journal articles and reviews e.g. Historical Abstracts, Jstor, IBSS Theses e.g. Index to theses, EThOS Access by visiting (SCONUL Access) or borrowing (Document Delivery Service) 9. The archive environment The National ArchivesRecords of central government and the central criminal courtsOther NationalsBritish Library, Houses of Parliament, etc.County Record OfficesRecords relating to the administration of the historic county and other local materialUniversity archivesMaterial collected to support research and teaching and other material related to the administration of the UniversitySpecialist archivesFor example, businesses, charities, churches, organisations, etc.Private and family collectionsPapers relating to families, individuals, estates etc 10. Finding archival material Not organised/categorised in the same way as books Dont fall into neat categories How they have been collected or created is part of their storyGeneral Strike Key is the creator or creating body Who might have created the record? Where might it be? Remember to think around the subjectLocal coal records Remember not everything has survived not everything is kept not everything is easy to findCounty Record Office 11. Finding archival material Archive catalogues Each archive will have own catalogue Not all online Not all complete Durham University Special CollectionsUseful sites National Archives Search the Archives Access to Archives National Register of Archives ARCHON 12. Finding archival material Search strategies Think laterally Combine search terms Boolean searching Use wild card/fuzzy searches Finding material Locally held copies Printed sources Online sources many from Library catalogue 13. Online resources Diaries, manuscripts rare books, newspapers (articles, adverts, images, obituaries), photographs, historic interviews in film or transcription Digitised as text or, more often, as an image Varying quality Varying ability to search many rely on the record 14. Accessing online resources Catalogue http://library.dur.ac.uk/ Definitive listing www.dur.ac.uk/library/resources/online/databases/ Filter by resource-type www.dur.ac.uk/library/resources/online/ Subject filter www.dur.ac.uk/library/resources/subject/ for your own subject area www.dur.ac.uk/library/history for historic resources 15. Full text online collections Foreign Broadcast Information ServiceTimes Digital ArchiveArchival sound recordingsMEMSOFull text19th century periodicalsTudor State PapersMass observation onlineHouse of Commons Papers 16. E-books as primary sources Google BooksECCOPatrologia LatinaMedieval sources onlineebooksEEBOThe Latin LibraryBroadside BalladsGallica 17. Accessing printed books Rare books held in archives but listed in library catalogues Main collections in Durham University Library catalogue and listed on Special Collections pages Some collections at other institutions in COPAC Printed collections of sources or translations 18. Pathways in archives Local events and info News and journalsLocal politics & govtLocal business infoRadical PoliticsTrials and other legal papersNational outlookPamphlets and periodicals 19. Pathways and journeys Diaries Police records LocalNationalNewspapers Parish records Business records 20. Useful tips for working in archives Contact before visit Opening times, ID, facilities, advance ordering Go prepared Paper, pencils, laptop, camera, references Wear/take warm clothes Be organised Check references, take full notes Ask for help 21. Understanding archival references HO 42/95 f.375 Collection = Home Office Division = Domestic Correspondence Subdivision = part year 1808 FolioHO 42: The National Archives, Home Office, Domestic Correspondence, George III 22. Copyright Archival material is still subject to copyright law Some records are restricted check! Normally okay to cite in research without permission Situation will change if work is being published (theses count!) 23. Copyright 24. Freedom of Information FOI Act passed in 2000 and came into full effect from 2005 Information is assumed to be open unless one of the specified exemptions applies Anyone can send in a written request Is a right of appeal 25. Useful links National Register of Archives www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/default.aspAccess 2 Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/ARCHON http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon/


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