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History and its Literature


REASONS FOR NEGLECT OF SOCIAL HISTORY BEFORE WORLD WAR II (1) ... That history should not be the monopoly of the rich and powerful ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: History and its Literature

History and its Literature
  • LIS413 Simmons College
  • Brendan Rapple
  • 19 July, 2006

Types of History
  • History in terms of nations very common
  • Sometimes regional history is studied
  • e.g.
  • Latin America
  • Eastern Europe
  • Middle East
  • South East Asia

Its More Fundamental Sometimes
  • A Civilization
  • Romans
  • Europeans during the Middle Ages,
  • Moslem Civilization of North Africa,
  • Native American Civilization of South America.
  • Sometimes its Periods
  • Renaissance
  • Reformation
  • 30 Years War
  • The Enlightenment
  • The Dark Ages

More Specific Topics
  • Columbus discovering or rediscovering America
  • The Vietnam Conflict
  • Watergate
  • Salem Witch Trials
  • Battle of Leningrad
  • Battle of Agincourt

Topics are often Categorized
  • Intellectual history
  • Cultural history
  • Social history
  • Economic history
  • Religious history
  • Educational history
  • or, indeed, the history of any discipline
  • Many of these can be Subdivided
  • The HISTORY OF WOMEN as a category of cultural or
    social history
  • Historical analysis may be directed toward an
    individual, an idea, a movement, or an

Sometimes Questions can be very Broad
  • What caused societal revolutions in China,
    France, Russia?
  • How have major social institutions, like
    medicine, developed and changed over two
  • How have basic social relationships, like
    feelings about the value of children, changed
    over the centuries?
  • Is race declining in significance compared to
    social class as a major division in the U.S.?
  • Why did South Africa develop a system of greater
    racial separation as the U.S. moved toward
    greater racial integration?
  • What caused fall of Roman Empire?

How Sure Can we Be of "Facts or Evidence?
  • Historians who challenge generally accepted
    historical facts are often termed
  • revisionist
  • or radical
  • or leftist
  • or new historians.

  • Historians rely on records of events that were
    made by others, e.g.
  • journalist
  • court reporter
  • diarist
  • photographer
  • These recordings involve interpretive acts.
  • They involve certain biases, values, and
    interests of those who recorded them, i.e. they
    attended to some details and omitted others.
  • Thus, interpretation exists even before historian
    enters the picture.

  • Historians rely on records of events that were
    made by others, e.g.
  • journalist
  • court reporter
  • diarist
  • photographer
  • These recordings involve interpretive acts.
  • They involve certain biases, values, and
    interests of those who recorded them, i.e. they
    attended to some details and omitted others.
  • Thus, interpretation exists even before historian
    enters the picture.

Historian adds still another layer of
  • She stresses or ignores certain data.
  • She organizes data into categories/patterns.

History is a Representation of the Past
  • But representations may be hindered by
  • lack of ability of historian
  • lack of evidence
  • historians biases
  • historians interpretation
  • sheer desire to present a false picture

Very Different Treatments
  • Teaching of History in
  • Palestinian Schools
  • Israeli Jewish Schools
  • Zulu Schools
  • Afrikaner Boer Schools

History often very Specialized
  • Today historians often have a methodological
  • Historians who study the Depression of the 1930s
    need to have quite a sophisticated knowledge of
  • Historians who study social mobility in the U.S.
    should be trained in aspects of social science.
  • Historians who study farming in Central America
    must have a strong knowledge of agricultural
  • Cultural historians must have strong backgrounds
    in such subjects as literary theory,
    anthropology, art history, or musicology.

Recent Developments in Historical Writing
  • Change from political to social history, from the
    public life of the nation to the private life of
  • Many studies of
  • lives of women and children
  • slaves
  • ethnic groups
  • factory workers
  • the family, etc.
  • Thus, race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality have
    supplanted traditional political, diplomatic and
    intellectual history.
  • There are now no more people without a history
    (Wolf, 1982).

  • In reality, for the most part, these earlier
    historians were concerned overwhelmingly with a
    decided minority of the population in terms of
    class, ethnicity, region, and gender, and tended
    to confuse the history of one group with the
    history of the nation
  • (Lawrence W. Levine, Amer. Hist. Rev. June, 1989)

Change to More Democratic History was Resisted
  • Today we must face the discouraging prospect
    that we all, teachers and pupils alike, have lost
    much of what this earlier generation possessed,
    the priceless asset of a shared culture. Today
    imaginations have become starved or stunted . . .
    Furthermore, many of the younger practitioners of
    our craft, and those who are still apprentices,
    are products of lower middle-class or foreign
    origins, and their emotions not infrequently get
    in the way of historical reconstructions. They
    find themselves in a very real sense outsiders on
    our past and feel themselves shut out. This is
    certainly not their fault, but it is true. They
    have no experience to assist them, and the chasm
    between them and the Remote Past widens every
    hour . . . What I fear is that the changes
    observant in the background and training of the
    present generation will make it impossible for
    them to communicate and to reconstruct the past
    for future generations. (Carl Bridenbaugh, Amer.
    Hist. Rev. Jan., 1963 Bridenbaugh was President
    of the Amer. Hist. Soc.)

Among Some New Approaches
  • Cultural History
  • Many dimensions.
  • Quantitative History
  • Statistical methods
  • Voting records
  • Population analyses
  • Literacy counts, etc.
  • Feminist History
  • Feminist historians frequently question
    male-dominated assumptions and data on women in
    other cultures.
  • Biological Environmental History
  • Studies in nutrition, disease, such elements of
    the environment as plants, animals, land, and the

  • Usually limited and indirect.
  • Historian is limited to what sources survive --
    usually most evidence has been destroyed.
  • A surviving building looks different in 1997 than
    it did in 1790.
  • For example, today it's in the "old style" back
    then it may have been very new.

Primary Sources
  • Manuscripts/Documents
  • Charters, Laws, Archives of official minutes or
    records, Letters, Memoirs, Official publications,
    Wills, Newspapers and magazines, Maps,
    Catalogues, Inscriptions, Graduation records,
    Bills, lists, deeds, contracts, etc., etc.
  • Objects
  • Relics, Coins, Stamps, Skeleton, Fossils,
    Weapons, Tools, Utensils, Pictures, Furniture,
    Clothing, Coins, Food, Books, Scrolls
  • Also Art Objects
  • Sculptures, Paintings, Pottery
  • Also Films, Photographs, Buildings
  • Oral Testimony also important as primary sources
  • Thus, evidence or sources includes many
    categories beyond written texts.

Secondary Sources
  • Not ORIGINAL sources
  • No direct physical connection to event studied
  • Examples include
  • history books
  • articles in encyclopedias
  • prints of paintings or replicas of art objects
  • reviews of research

External Criticism
  • Check if the evidence is authentic/genuine.
  • Researcher must discover frauds, forgeries,
    hoaxes, inventions.
  • Chemical analysis of paint, ink, paper,
    parchment, cloth.
  • Carbon dating of artifacts.
  • Ask such questions as
  • Was the knowledge the source aims to transmit
    available at the time?
  • Is it consistent with what is already known about
  • What about beautiful Greek coin just discovered
    and bearing the date 499 B.C.?

Internal Criticism
  • Evidence is genuine, but can we trust what it
    tells us?
  • Does document present a faithful/true report?
  • Was document's author a competent observer?
  • Was she too sympathetic or too adversely
  • Was she pressured to twist or exclude facts?
  • Was documentary record made long after events
  • Does her story agree with that of other witnesses?

Scholarly Societies
  • American Antiquarian Society
  • http//www.americanantiquarian.org/
  • American Historical Association
  • http//www.historians.org/
  • History of Science Society
  • http//www.hssonline.org/
  • For a comprehensive list of Societies/Associations
  • http//www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/society/history_soc.h

History E-Journals
  • Examples of e-format only e-journals
  • African Studies Quarterly the online journal of
    African studies
  • http//www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/
  • http//www.cromohs.unifi.it/
  • History of Intellectual Culture
  • http//www.ucalgary.ca/hic/
  • For a more complete list see Directory of Open
    Access Journals
  • http//www.doaj.org/

  • RLG Union Catalog - RLIN (subscription
    database) With records for over 45 million
    titles, this database provides unparalleled
    coverage across subjects and material types in
    almost 400 languages. The Advanced Search mode
    permits one to limit one's search to archival
    material. (New)
  • WorldCat  (subscription database)
  • This online union catalog has well over 60
    million bibliographic records. In the Advanced
    search mode one may limit one's search to
    archival materials.

Library of Congress
  • The LOC http//catalog.loc.gov/ is extremely
    useful to historians. Much material is available

Bibliographies and Guides
  • Harvard Guide to American History (Belknap
    Press Revised edition (July 1, 1974)
  • An excellent place to start for books and
    articles on a particular topic or period. 1348
    pages in length, it is selective, and limited to
    books and articles published before 1972. Volume
    One has information on doing research and
    includes books and articles arranged by topic,
    and Volume Two has books and articles arranged by
    chronological period and a name and subject index.

Bibliographies and Guides
  • Handbook for Research in American History A
    Guide to Bibliographies and Other Reference
    Works. 2nd. ed.
  • (University of Nebraska Press, 1987).
  • An excellent guide to more specialized
    bibliographies and reference materials in many
    different areas of United States history
    organized by type of reference.

Bibliographies and Guides
  • Guide to the History of Massachusetts (Greenwood
    Press, 1987) 325 pages.
  • Part One is a survey of the historical
    literature on
  • Massachusetts, and Part Two is a listing of the
    archives and sources for Massachusetts history
    with their contents.

Bibliographies and Guides
  • Reader's Guide to American History (Fitzroy
    Dearborn Publishers, 1997)
  • Essays and substantial bibliographies on some
    600 topics "to offer some help to those who wish
    to explore the
  • riches of American historical writing in all its

  • American National Biography (print and Online)
  • http//proxy.bc.edu/login?urlhttp//www.anb.org/a
  • Very extensive. Short biographical articles,
    many with pictures, on deceased notable
    Americans. Online version includes more recent
    articles, in quarterly updates, than the print

  • Most newspapers have print indexes of their past
    issues -- some of these indexes are now online.
  • However, most online indexes are not free and
    print indexes may not be readily available

  • African-American Newspapers The 19th Century
  • This database provides the complete
    word-for-word texts of major 19th century
    African-American newspapers. Newspapers in this
    database are made available in chronological
    orders, with the addition of a minimum of ten
    million new words each year. Currently the file
    contains Parts 1, 2, and 3 and covers the
    following newspapers Freedoms Journal 1827-1830
    (New York, NY) Colored American 1837-1841 (New
    York, NY) The North Star 1847-1851 (Rochester,
    NY) Frederick Douglass Paper 1851-1859,
    completed through December 1852 (Rochester, NY)
    National Era 1847-1860, completed through
    December 1853 (Washington, D.C.) Provincial
    Freeman 1854-1857 (Toronto, Canada) The
    Christian Recorder 1861-1902, completed through
    April 1862 (Philadelphia, PA).

  • Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
  • (subscription database)
  • The full text of the Times of London, includes
    news articles, editorials, obituaries, and
    advertising. It is is fully searchable and
    results are displayed as facsimile images of the
    article or page. Every word and image of 200
    years of the newspaper is included.

  • New York Times 1857-1999 - ProQuest Historical
  • (subscription database)
  • Full text access to historical content of the
    New York Times, including advertisements.
    Searching can be done for words in the entire
    text or in the citation and abstract (headline
    and first paragraph). Search options include
    simple keyword searching, natural language
    searching, or advanced searching (which includes
    searching by article type, for example death
    notices or editorials). Display is a pdf image of
    the citation article, including its extension to
    other pages.

  • Boston Globe (subscription database)
  • Full text of the Boston Globe newspaper, from
    1980 to yesterday's edition.

  • LexisNexis Academic (subscription database)
  • Extensive full-text database of legal and
    business information including newspapers.
  • Coverage of some newspapers goes back well into
    the 19th cent.

Documents Databases
  • AMDOCS Documents for the Study of American
  • http//www.vlib.us/amdocs/
  • Links to selected documents from the fifteenth
    century to
  • contemporary times.

Documents Databases
  • Avalon Project at Yale University
  • http//www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm
  • Documents by century also major collections,
    subjects, authors, and titles, and, importantly,
    a search engine for the entire project or its
    parts (there are a large number of documents).

Documents Databases
  • A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation U.S.
    Congressional Documents and Debates 1774-1873
  • http//lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html
  • Part of the American Memory site at the Library
    of Congress

Documents Databases
  • National Security Archive
  • http//www.gwu.edu/nsarchiv/
  • This site at George Washington University
    collects and publishes declassified documents
    acquired through the Freedom of Information Act
    (FOIA). Includes documents on the Cuban Missile
    Crisis and the Iran Contra controversy.

Documents Databases
  • Documenting the American South
  • http//docsouth.unc.edu/
  • Sources on Southern history, literature and
    culture from the colonial period through the
    first decades of the twentieth century. Indexes
    first person narratives, a library of Southern
    literature, slave narratives, the Civil War home
    front 1861-1865, and the African American Church.

Archives and Manuscripts
  • ArchivesUSA (subscription database)
  • This is a database providing access to holdings
    and contact information of more than 5,480
    libraries. One may limit one's search to a
    particular collection name or to a specific
    repository name (in the latter case one may limit
    to a particular city).
  • Archive Grid (subscription database)
  • Thousands of libraries, museums and archives
    have contributed nearly a million collection
    descriptions to Archive Grid. Types of material
    include oral histories, letters, unpublished
    notes and manuscripts, records of corporate and
    governmental operations, family histories,
    personal papers, and historical records held in
    archives around the world.

Archives and Manuscripts
  • American Memory Project at the Library of
  • http//lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amhome.html
  • A wealth of documents, oral histories,
    photographs, maps, motion pictures, recordings--
    and all within efficient search engine which can
    search topics across collections.

Archives and Manuscripts
  • National Union Catalog of Manuscript
  • http//lcweb.loc.gov/coll/nucmc/nucmc.html
  • Known as "NUCMC," the printed source consists of
    annual volumes with index volumes indexing names,
    places, subjects, and form and genre, and
    containing a list of repositories. This is the
    place to look to see where historical figures'
    papers and letters are located in the United

Archives and Manuscripts
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • http//www.nara.gov/
  • The National Archives of the United States.

Archives and Manuscripts
  • Repositories of Primary Sources
  • http//www.uidaho.edu/specialcollections/Othe
  • A useful list of over 3,700 archival web sites
    with links by world region and for the United
    States by state. Kept at the University of Idaho,
    this is one of the most complete lists of

Other Electronic Indexes
  • America History and Life 1964- (subscription
  • U.S. and Canadian history in some 2,000 history
    periodicals covering prehistory to the present.
    The best place to go for recent academic history
    article citations.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Historical Abstracts (1954-present)
    (subscription database)
  • Covers articles, books and dissertations in the
    field of world history from approximately 1450,
    including political, diplomatic, military,
    economic, social, cultural, religious and
    intellectual history.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • ACLS History E-Book Project (subscription
  • A project to publish high quality electronic
    books across a broad range of fields in history,
    sponsored by the American Council of Learned
    Societies. The project includes hundreds of
    previously published titles and new publications
    which take advantage of electronic publishing
    capabilities. New titles in both categories are
    added annually.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Gutenberg-e (subscription database)
  • This collection of electronic books, adapted
    from prize-winning dissertations, covers a range
    of historical topics. The books are enhanced by
    links to primary source documents, images, and
    maps. The project is a collaboration of the
    American Historical Association and Columbia
    University Press.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Early American imprints. Series I, Evans,
  • Early American Imprints, Series II -
    Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819 (subscription
  • Vast full-text resource of information about
    every aspect of life in 17th - and 18th-century
    America as well as the first couple of decades of
    the 19th. Subjects covered range from agriculture
    and auctions through foreign affairs, diplomacy,
    literature, music, religion, the Revolutionary
    War, slavery, temperance, witchcraft and just
    about any other topic imaginable.

American Broadsides and Ephemera
  • Based on the American Antiquarian Societys
    landmark collection, the database American
    Broadsides and Ephemera, Series I offers fully
    searchable facsimile images of approximately
    15,000 broadsides printed between 1820 and 1900
    and 15,000 pieces of ephemera printed between
    1760 and 1900. The remarkably diverse subjects of
    these broadsides range from contemporary accounts
    of the Civil War, unusual occurrences and natural
    disasters to official government proclamations,
    tax bills and town meeting reports. This digital
    edition also contains autobiographies and dying
    confessions of convicted criminals, theater
    playbills, sheet almanacs, publishers'
    prospectuses, advertisements, newspaper carriers'
    addresses, patriotic and popular songs and poems.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Early American Newspapers, 1690-1876
    (subscription database)
  • Early American Newspapers features
    cover-to-cover reproductions of historic
    newspapers, providing pages as fully
    text-searchable facsimile images. The current
    release includes 141 titles from 23 states and
    the District of Columbia. The collection is based
    largely on Clarence Brigham's History and
    Bibliography of American Newspapers,1690-1820.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Early English Books Online (subscription
  • EEBO brings nearly every English language book
    published from the invention of printing in 1475
    to 1700 to the Internet. Works by Shakespeare,
    Spenser, Bacon, More, Erasmus, Boyle, Newton,
    Galileo musical exercises by Henry Purcell and
    novels by Aphra Behn prayer books, pamphlets,
    and proclamations almanacs, calendars, and other
    primary resources are all in full facsimile. This
    interdisciplinary database includes well over
    100,000 early printed titles listed in Pollard
    Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475- 1640),
    Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700) and the
    Thomason Tracts

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online
    (subscription database)
  • When complete, this database will deliver every
    significant English-language and foreign-language
    title printed in Great Britain between 1701 and
    1800, along with thousands of important works
    from the Americas. It will comprise nearly
    150,000 titles and editions and will allow
    full-text searching of more than 33 million pages
    of material. Titles included in ECCO are based on
    the English Short Title Catalogue bibliography
    and are sourced from the holdings of the British
    Library, as well as other national, university,
    research, and public and private libraries. The
    database includes a variety of materials - from
    books and directories, Bibles, sheet music and
    sermons to advertisements - and works by many
    well-known and lesser-known authors, all
    providing a diverse collection of material for
    the researcher of the eighteenth century. Variant
    editions of each individual work are frequently
    offered to enable scholars to make textual
    comparisons of the works. The database is divided
    into seven subject areas History and Geography
    Fine Arts and Social Sciences Medicine, Science
    and Technology Literature and Language Religion
    and Philosophy Law General

Other Electronic Indexes
  • US Congressional Serial Set - Digital Edition
    (subscription database)
  • A full text searchable collection of sources on
    all aspects of U.S. history compiled by Congress
    in numbered sequence (hence its name the Serial
    Set), including government reports, journals,
    hearings, messages, petitions, resolutions,
    monographs, treaties, presidential
    communications, maps and so forth from 1817 to
    1980. Also includes the full text of the American
    State Papers (1789-1838), scheduled for release
    in late spring 2005. An ongoing digitization
    project which covers the early years first and is
    expected to be completed up to 1980 by the end of

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Gerritsen Women's History (subscription
  • This database covers the study of international
    women's history, feminism and the feminist
    movement. It consists of periodicals, books, and
    pamphlets in 15 languages.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries
    (subscription database)
  • A collection of women's diaries and
    correspondence covering colonial times to 1950.
    This database is being released in stages until

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Oral History Online (subscription database)
  • Oral History Online is an index to
    English-language interviews that are either
    publicly available on the Web or held by
    repositories and archives around the world. The
    database contains no full-text sources, but
    instead includes more than 100,000 index entries,
    with links to full text when transcripts are
    available online. Interviews with full text can
    be searched in great detail, including 20 fields
    of metadata. The database is updated quarterly
    and is intended eventually to include all
    important oral histories available worldwide.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Hispanic American Periodicals Index 1970-
    (subscription database)
  • Indexes articles on U.S. Hispanic and Latin
    American topics inEnglish, French, German,
    Italian, Portuguese and Spanish from more than
    400 scholarly journals worldwide. Produced by the
    Latin American Center at UCLA.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • PAIS International (Public Affairs Information
    Service) 1972
  • PAIS Archive (1937-1976) (subscription
  • Public affairs in a variety of journals
    (including news magazines) and monographs
    includes such areas as environment and health.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Nineteenth Century Masterfile (1800 --)
  • (subscription database)
  • "The Digital Index of the Nineteenth Century"
    includes an electronic version of Poole's Index
    to Periodical Literature and a number of other
    indexes. A valuable index to nineteenth and early
    twentieth century magazines and newspapers.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • International Medieval Bibliography
  • (subscription database)
  • Comprehensive and current bibliography of the
    European Middle Ages (c.450-1500) including
    articles in journals and miscellaneous volumes of
    conference proceedings, essay collections and

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Iter Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance
    (subscription database)
  • Iter contains a Journals and a Books database.
    The Journals database is an electronic
    bibliography of interdisciplinary journal
    literature pertaining to the Middle Ages and
    Renaissance (400-1700). Citations for articles
    bibliographies catalogues editions abstracts
    and discographies are included. To date, the full
    runs of more than 400 scholarly journal titles,
    published since 1859, have been indexed. A
    complete list of titles is available for review.
    The Books database (under construction) is a
    bibliography of approximately 46,000 records
    encompassing monographs, material published in
    monographs, and collected essays pertaining to
    the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700).

Other Electronic Indexes
  • American Civil War Letters and Diaries
  • (subscription database)
  • Indexes full texts of first person accounts of
    events in the U.S. Civil War from hundreds of
    sources of diaries, letters and memoirs of people
    both famous and obscure.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Declassified Documents Reference System
    (1945-1970's) (subscription database)
  • Selected US government documents declassified
    under the Freedom of Information Act and which
    were originally organized under the Declassified
    Documents Reference System (DDRS). The online
    documents selected deal with post World War II
    documents in international relations and domestic
    documents involving the military and White House
    which span the presidencies of Kennedy, Johnson
    and Nixon.

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Early Encounters in North America
  • (subscription database)
  • Early Encounters in North America, subtitled
    "Peoples, Cultures and the Environment," will
    include, when completed, more than 100,000 pages
    of letters, diaries, memoirs and accounts of
    early encounters. It includes descriptions of
    North America, either in its natural features or
    interactions among various cultural groups in the
    years between 1534 and 1860. Special indexing
    leads to the who, what, when and where of the

Other Electronic Indexes
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies (1971-present)
    (Subscription Database)
  • Contains more than 410,000 records on all
    subjects (especially humanities and social
    sciences) pertaining to East, Southeast, and
    South Asia published worldwide from 1971 to the

  • Historical Maps of the United States (Perry
    Castaneda Library Map Collection, UT Austin)
  • http//www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/histus.html
  • A wealth of online maps dealing with Early
    Inhabitants, Exploration and Settlement, U.S.
    Territorial Growth, and a section on Later
    Historical Maps (including 146 maps of U.S.
    cities) with links to U.S. historical maps at
    other web sites.

  • Rare Map Collection at the Hargrett Library The
    University of Georgia Libraries
  • http//www.libs.uga.edu/darchive/hargrett/maps/ma
  • Includes rare maps of the New World, Colonial
    America, Revolutionary America, Revolutionary
    Georgia, Union and Expansion, Civil War, Frontier
    to New South, Savannah and the Coast, and
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