Learning from the Past: A Guide for the Curious Researcher








Last updated on March 3, 2024 10:12 pm

Learn how to understand the past to explain the present, and get to know the amazing sources and resources of the British Library.

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Who is the course for?

No prior knowledge or training is needed. This course is for people who are interested in how history informs the ways in which we view the world today, or are already using records to find out about the past. You may be thinking about starting a postgraduate course, want to find out more about a specialist interest, or are working on a family or local history project.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1 – Language and History

Why does the past matter today?

History as language – and how to crack the code….

Reading critically

Week 2 – Images and Artefacts

Photographs: A Window on the Past?

Maps and Historical Images as Sources

Finding Sources in Library Catalogues and Archives

Week 3 – Thinking Outside the Box…

The impact of the present on understanding the past

Sound Collections and Oral History

Digital Sources & the Archived Web

Plan your own research project

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

Develop a research project on a topic of your choice

Assess the relevant scholarship and existing research

Collect and evaluate relevant primary sources from a variety of genres (written text, images/photos, oral history, recorded sound, web archive)

Debate your research plan with educators and other learners, be inspired by their ideas

Evaluate how history influences the contemporary world

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    Learning from the Past: A Guide for the Curious Researcher
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