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Historical Research: Home

Welcome to the Historical Research Libguide

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.

Page Library Information

Fall and Spring Session Hours
Monday-Thursday 7:30am-12am
Friday 8am-5pm
Saturday 11am-8pm
Sunday 3pm-12am
Summer Session Hours
Monday-Thursday 7:30am-9pm


Sunday 3pm-9pm

Phone Directory

Information Desk 681-5512
Circulation Area 681-5504
Ethnic/Archives 681-5514
Media Center 681-5260

Mailing Address

Inman E. Page Library
Lincoln University
712 Lee Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65101


What is Historic Research

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.
It is a flowing, dynamic account of past events which involves an interpretation of these events in an attempt to recapture the nuances, personalities, and ideas that influenced these events.
One of the goals of historical research is to communicate an understanding of past events.

Significance of Historical Research



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).


An Overview of Historical Research

 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 Literature
Historical resources may include library materials, special collections, and museum collections. They are often the most effective means of gaining information.

Archival Literature
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.

Just For Fun

Subject Guide

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Mark Schleer
Inman E. Page Library
712 Lee Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Quick Links to History

Best of History Websites "portal created for students, history educators, and general history enthusiasts."

Humbul Humanities Hub

History Online(from the University of London)

Voice of the Shuttle:  History page

Yahoo! History Gateway

WWWVL The World Wide Virtual Library History: Central Catalogue (Univ. of Kansas)

World History Compass


History Guide "Subject gateway to scholarly relevant information in history with a focus on Anglo-American history."

History Channel