R33: Getting started with archival research
This workshop aims to introduce students, especially those with little experience of archival research, to research best practice, both physical and on-line. It aims to equip them with some of the skills and knowledge that they will need to locate and access primary source materials for their projects. This session is suitable for researchers of all disciplines, but is of particular interest to those who engage in, or wish to research into the histories of, their various disciplines. The focus here is on expanding skills and knowledge in locating original source material, both manuscript and printed.
The first hour will consist of:
- A PowerPoint lecture showing the scope of some national and local repositories and the protocol which provides access to primary source material. Repositories will include the National Archives, the British Library, Birmingham Archive and University and private archives.
- The value of authorised on-line collections, and copyright libraries and online repositories for obtaining access to out-of-print books, will be demonstrated.
- The importance of time management and forward planning, and the indexing and recording of sources will be emphasised.
- The second hour will consist of a 45-minute practical session with computers, designed to get participants started on accessing databases such as the National Archives. This session is intended to reinforce researchers’ knowledge and confidence.
- A fifteen-minute question and answer session concludes the seminar. Hand-outs containing the main points and useful links will be issued.
Participants should have a clearer understanding of how to get the best out of their research activities, and be more confident about knowing where to begin their search for sources.
Katrina Maitland-Brown, Faculty of Social Sciences