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HSTR 201: Introduction to Historical Research



 This guide is designed to help you with required coursework for UVic History courses, especially HSTR 201: Introduction to Historical Research.   The guide is not exhaustive; there are other resources and approaches available.   Always keep in mind course requirements as set by your professor.

Click on any of the tabs on the side to find books, articles, and more.  If you need assistance, you can get help from librarians by appointment, or via email, phone, or chat.  Or email Tina Bebbington, History Librarian, for assistance. 


What are libraries?

Scholarship is a conversation  

"Scholarship is a conversation" is one of six pillars in the  ACRL Information LIteracy Framework . It i simply the idea that researchers, scholars, and learners engage together anytime they communicate - this can be through reading, viewing, writing, posting, presenting and more.   Anytime you read an article, cite an idea, or run a search you are in conversation with other scholars, building on their work, and creating new knowlege.  

One of your conversation partners should be the libraries!  As an institution, and as individuals - librarians bring a unique perspective to research, beyond merely locating sources.  

Libraries are very human institutions that attempt to support the discovery, access, retrieval, and evaluation of information.   There are different types of libraries with different missions (public, academic, government, private, corporate, etc).   UVic Libraries is an academic library with the mission of supporting  learning, research and knowledge mobilization at UVic.  

This human element can be problematic (I'm looking at you, Library of Congress Classification System) but librarians are working hard to address those issues.  The benefits to having the human touch on your information are many: people can review, organize, sort, collate, and label information and the containers carrying it, to help you find and use it more effectively.  Libraries have evolved many systems designed to help you find information, rather than just housing it 

Here are some of the tools I mentioned in class, that facilitate your conversations with libraries, sources, and scholars: 

A note on disciplinarity

Libraries and library tools lean heavily on disciplinarity for a variety of reasons: 

  • as an understandable way to organize large amounts of information, and bring together related information
  • to facilitate the 'scholarly conversation' - helping scholars in a discipline 'speak' with one another though the use of standards, conventions, citation and writing styles, and other 'languages' in that conversation

When you are taking a multi- or interdsciplinary approach, this can be frustrating.  Start with broader interdsciplinary tools, and use multiple disciplinary tools, after considering what areas your themes are likely to be in. 

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