Introduction to local history research

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Introduction to local history research

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

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