Loading...

HIST104: Historical Methodology - The Art and Craft of the Historian

Unit 8: Other Historical Resources   Primary-source documents are an important resource for historians, but researchers have additional means at their disposal for learning about the past.  Researchers can conduct interviews, study historical objects and structures, and evaluate different forms of popular media in order to gain more information about how people lived in the past.  In this unit, we will look at how oral history, material culture studies, and cultural analysis can be used for historical research.  We will examine the benefits of each approach and evaluate how these three historical research practices can complement traditional primary-source analytical techniques.

Unit 8 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 8 hours.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 4 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Define and differentiate between various types of non-archival historical research methods.

  • Reading: DoHistory.org: Judith Moyer’s Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History Link: DoHistory.org: Judith Moyer’s Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History  (PDF)
     
    Also available in:

    EPUB

    Instructions: Read the guide on the webpage.
     
    On this webpage, author Judith Moyer offers detailed guidance for people considering oral history research.  Moyer explains how to prepare for oral history interviews and use the information for research projects.
     
    Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Judith Moyer, and can be viewed in its original from here.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder. 

8.1 Oral History   8.1.1 The Value of Oral History for Research   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation's "Interpreting and Using Oral History" Links: The Saylor Foundation's "Interpreting and Using Oral History" (PDF).
 
Instructions: Read "Interpreting and Using Oral History."
 
This reading explains how historians use and interpret oral history. This will help you gain a better understanding of the uses of and processes of obtaining oral history.

8.1.2 Interview Techniques and Best Practices   - Lecture: iTunes U: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh: Professor Peter Meyerson’s “Interviews and Observations” Lecture Link: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh: Professor Peter Meyerson’s “Interviews and Observations” Lecture (iTunes U)
 
Also available in:
 
iTunes Audio-only Podcast
 
Instructions: Watch the video lecture (24:13) and accompanying text through iTunes U.

 While this lecture is aimed at teachers and education majors
conducting interviews for social sciences purposes, the general
guidelines and suggestions presented by Professor Meyerson also
apply to oral history interviews.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

8.2 Material Culture Studies   8.2.1 Evaluating Historical Objects   - Reading: The Ohio Historical Society’s “History Works”: “Material Culture Tutorial” Link: The Ohio Historical Society’s “History Works”: “Material Culture Tutorial” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the article on the webpage.
 
This webpage provides information and guidance for those seeking to use material culture resources for historical research.  The webpage explains how to locate information on specific historical objects and offers suggestions for interpreting the historical significance of artifacts.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2.2 The Built Environment   - Reading: The New York Society Library’s version of Christopher Gray’s “A Guide to Researching the History of a New York City Building” Link: The New York Society Library's version of Christopher Gray’s “A Guide to Researching the History of a New York City Building” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the article on the webpage.
 
While the author focuses on researching the history of a building in New York City, his suggestions are applicable for researching the history of buildings anywhere.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.3 Cultural Analysis   8.3.1 Pop Culture   - Reading: Culturalpolitics.net: Professor T.V. Reed’s “Popular Culture:” “Popular Culture” Link: Culturalpolitics.net: Professor T.V. Reed’s “Popular Culture:” “Popular Culture” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Review the information on the webpage.
 
This website is maintained by T.V. Reed, Professor of English and American Studies at Washington State University. This website provides some useful information about how to analyze popular culture in American society.  It discusses different ways to analyze written and visual media and evaluate how audiences perceive various forms of media.  Also, it offers links to other websites containing historical and current information on American popular culture.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.3.2 Evaluating Cultural Sources   - Reading: Culturalpolitics.net: Professor T.V. Reed’s “Popular Culture”: “Textural Analysis,” “Historical Analysis,” “Audience Analysis,” and “Production Analysis” Links: Culturalpolitics.net: Professor T.V. Reed’s “Popular Culture”:
Textural Analysis,” (HTML)
Historical Analysis,” (HTML)
Audience Analysis,” (HTML) and
Production Analysis” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Review the information on each webpage linked here.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Activity: American Social History Productions, Inc.’s and Visible Knowledge Project’s “History Matters: Making Sense of Oral History:” “Who Is Talking?,” “Who Is The Interviewer?,” “What Are They Talking About?,” “Why Are They Talking?,” and “What Are The Circumstances of the Interview?” Links: American Social History Productions, Inc.’s and Visible Knowledge Project’s “History Matters: Making Sense of Oral History:”
    Who Is Talking?” (HTML)
    Who Is The Interviewer?” (HTML)
    What Are They Talking About?” (HTML)
    Why Are They Talking?” (HTML) and
    What Are The Circumstances of the Interview?” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the information on each webpage and complete the exercise. 
     
    Each webpage provides audio and/or transcripts from an oral history interview.  Review the material and consider the questions posed in the text.  Complete the listening/interpretation quiz and check your answers.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

End of Unit Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “HIST104: Unit 8 Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “HIST104: Unit 8 Quiz” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Complete the linked quiz above.  When you are done, check your work against The Saylor Foundation’s “HIST104: Unit 8 Quiz Answer Key.” (PDF)