Researching urban space and the built environment is a succinct guide for historians keen to explore the spatial dimensions of the past. Written in a clear and lively style, it equips readers with the tools to effectively plan, research and write spatial histories. The book explores why the ‘spatial turn’ matters so much to historians, and how the subject of space is a cutting-edge and interdisciplinary subject area. By outlining and summarising the theories and methodologies particularly pertinent to spatial research, and by providing hands-on advice on locating evidence and archives, the book supports readers in the development of their own original projects. Through engagement with a vast range of primary evidence, including buildings, manuscripts, oral history interviews, visual sources and material cultures, and discussion of pertinent early modern and modern historical case studies, the guide opens up a huge variety of research possibilities. Researching urban space and the built environment is the ideal research companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students and independent researchers. It is especially tailored for students in history and related disciplines in the humanities encountering spatial themes and methodologies for the first time. The guide is a highly suitable textbook for the many BA and MA courses in history focused on the study of urban history and space.
This book offers a practical introduction to digital history with a focus on working with text. It will benefit anyone who is considering carrying out research in history that has a digital or data element and will also be of interest to researchers in related fields within digital humanities, such as literary or classical studies. It offers advice on the scoping of a project, evaluation of existing digital history resources, a detailed introduction on how to work with large text resources, how to manage digital data and how to approach data visualisation. After placing digital history in its historiographical context and discussing the importance of understanding the history of the subject, this guide covers the life-cycle of a digital project from conception to digital outputs. It assumes no prior knowledge of digital techniques and shows you how much you can do without writing any code. It will give you the skills to use common formats such as plain text and XML with confidence. A key message of the book is that data preparation is a central part of most digital history projects, but that work becomes much easier and faster with a few essential tools.
History through material culture provides a practical introduction for researchers who wish to use objects and material culture as primary sources for the study of the past. The book focuses primarily on the period 1500 to the present day, but the principles put forward are equally applicable to studies of earlier historical eras. Histories of the last five centuries have been driven to a remarkable extent by textual records and it is with this in mind that History through material culture offers researchers a step-by-step guide to approaching the material evidence that survives from this period. Anticipating that many researchers will feel under-skilled or lacking in confidence in tackling artefacts of the past, the book traces the process of research from the framing of research questions through to the writing up of findings – giving particular attention to the ways in which objects can be located, accessed and understood. This practical guidance is augmented by the use of examples of seminal and contemporary scholarship in this interdisciplinary field, so that readers can see how particular approaches to sources have been used to develop historical narratives and arguments. It is written in accessible and jargon-free language with clear explanations of more complex discourses. In this way, the book demystifies both the process of researching objects and the way research practice relates to published scholarship.
This study guide is intended to provide a starting point for those seeking to use film as a source. It is aimed at those who want to use film and moving image as the basis for research and offers advice on research methods, theory and methodology, archival work and film-based analysis. Everything included here is also intended to be good practice, whether it be conducting an interview, visiting an archive, undertaking textual analysis or defining a research question. It draws on the disciplines of film and history to offer advice for students and researchers in these fields.