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Archival Methods and Historical Thinking

Program(s): Undergraduate Courses

In this course, students will be introduced to archival research methods and to the ways in which historians work with and interpret the sources they use in constructing historical narratives and arguments. We will visit Special Collections, explore digital archives, and consider the range of possible sources and archives, from texts held in national government archives to material objects, maps, audio or video recordings, and everything in between. We will also engage with the work of historians as they seek to make sense of the material they find in archives, considering questions of interpretation, narrative, and holes–that is, what is missing from archives. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanics of archival work and an appreciation for the complexity of historical thinking.

Remote or Residential

✓ Residential Course


Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

Undergrad / Grad


Undergraduate Courses

Start Date

June 12

End Date

July 14

Class Details

Primary Instructor

Alex Hoffman

Academic Interest

Social Sciences (e.g., history, sociology)

Class Specifics

Course Code

HIST 29806 91

Class Day(s)

Mon Wed Fri

Class Duration (CST)


11:00 A.M.


Session I

Course Length

5 weeks