Introduction to local history researchPresentation Transcript
Introduction to Local History Research David Smolen Senior Reference Librarian Londonderry Leach Library
What do I hope you get out of this talk? Feel more confident when handling local history questions Have a better grasp of the sources used in local history research Possess a better knowledge of the institutions engaged in local history Understand the value of local history to your community Examples of local history on the Internet
What is local history and why should we care? Local History Defined: the study of the people, places, and events of a particular geographic area. Importance: allows us to study national events within the context of local communities Identifies unique qualities and stories of our communities Acts as a source of local pride Effective way of teaching history to students Creates possibility for partnerships with like-minded institutions
Sources and Institutions Local history librarianship requires you to know who are the key institutions for the study of local history in the State and what are their holdings. In many instances you will be referring researchers to other institutions.
Primary and Secondary Sources Primary sources: original source materials (i.e. manuscripts, diaries, photos, business records , etc.) Secondary Sources: books and articles that are created through the interpretation of primary sources
The Limits of Sources There are just some questions that don’t have an answer Primary sources are bias towards wealthy, literate, and urban populations.
What are the Key Sources? Town histories Vital records Cemetery records Church records Business Records Town Reports /Records Directories Court records Land records Maps Newspapers Rare Books /Pamphlets
Institutions New Hampshire Historical Society – www.nhhistory.org New Hampshire State Library -- http://www.nh.gov/nhsl New Hampshire State Archives -- http://www.sos.nh.gov/archives/ Portsmouth Athenaeum -- http://www.portsmouthathenaeum.org/ Historical Society of Cheshire County -- http://www.hsccnh.org/ Rauner Special Collections - http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/rauner/ UNH Special Collections -- http://www.library.unh.edu/milne/ City and Town Government offices (Clerk and Planning Departments) Historical Society Directory: http://www.historicalsocietiesnh.org/