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Primarily History: Historians and the Search for Primary Sources

Primarily History: Historians and the Search for Primary Sources

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Main contact:  Dr Ian G. Anderson

Subject area:
Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) - School of Humanities, College of Arts

This research project is being conducted to support archival work and historical research by Dr. Ian Anderson. To date, we have little evidence regarding use and efficacy of electronic access tools such as online catalogues and electronic finding aids employed by archivists. We also do not know how archivists are informing researchers in the use of these access aids or how historians are training their students in their use.

The basic premise behind this study is that information systems should be built around user information needs and behaviours. Working within this framework, the specific goals of this survey and the larger research project are to discover how historians are searching for and locating primary source materials; how they are teaching/advising their students to do so; and how archivists and other cultural heritage curators can best facilitate such information discovery.