Greetings fellow historians and welcome to the Lincoln University Libguide for Historical Research.
The purpose of this resource is to assist Lincoln University history students, whether they are in graduate school or taking history to fullfill a General Education requirement, in their endeavours in researching historical information. They will also be provided with how-to information on planning a paper, research methods and shortcuts and primary and secondary sources.
Besides being the Archivist for Lincoln University, I am a fellow Lincolnite and am familiar with the resources available to students, especially those studying history. I hope my experience will provide assistance to students working on historical research and I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.
Fall and Spring Session Hours
Summer Session Hours
Information Desk 681-5512
Circulation Area 681-5504
Media Center 681-5260
Inman E. Page Library
712 Lee Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65101
What is Historical Research?
Historical research is the process of systematically examining past events to give an account of what has happened in the past.
It is not a mere accumulation of facts and dates or even a description of past events.
The following gives five important reasons for conducting historical research (based on Berg, 1998):
1. To uncover the unknown (i.e., some historical events are not recorded).
2. To answer questions (i.e., there are many questions about our past that we not only want to know, but can profit from knowing).
3. To identify the relationship that the past has to the present (i.e., knowing about the past can frequently give a better perspective of current events).
4. To record and evaluate the accomplishments of individuals, agencies, or institutions.
5. To assist in understanding the culture in which we live (e.g., education is a part of our history and our culture).
Historical research is a type of secondary data analysis to determine past social attitudes and community structure and how these have changed over time.
Historical research can be accomplished with several types of sources, including:
Historical resources may include library materials, special collections, and museum collections. They are often the most effective means of gaining information.
Materials in archives are useful for studying cultural processes through time and finding specific material from original documents.
Oral Histories and Traditions
Oral histories help gain insight into an event or situation by gathering personal accounts from informants who recall events, places, or incidents.
Traditions are information and beliefs handed down through generations by word of mouth or by example. An understanding of oral traditions is often key in communicating with different cultures.
Best of History Websites "portal created for students, history educators, and general history enthusiasts."
History Online(from the University of London)
WWWVL The World Wide Virtual Library History: Central Catalogue (Univ. of Kansas)
History Guide "Subject gateway to scholarly relevant information in history with a focus on Anglo-American history."