Understanding and Digging

As budding historians, we have a semblance of a modern historical conscience. Much like the errors that have been identified and addressed surrounding such an understanding of the past, we are learning to remove biases and let the past shape itself. We must not allow the understanding of our present alter the past’s shape or fit the characters to be closer to the present. This is in part done by learning to understand and use the available sources. Being able to differentiate between primary and secondary sources for the subject is important but analyzing these things is just as important to seeing how the item might shape the past. Just as important to seeing the use of these types of documents is the reason you sought them out the subject or kind of history you are trying to address. Finding the focus of the question or analysis might touch on ideas like trying to encompass the entirety of the thing or idea that brought about the research, but be careful this can lead a flood of information that may not seem related. Students of history will often look for things that are too challenging, this is why we have a developmental process available and even required in courses such as the History or Practicum class. We need to learn how to take bits and then hole projects and see how our betters would interpret our endeavors in future.

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