Browse Methods
Investigate world history approaches to analyzing different kinds of primary sources.
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Primer: Migration and Diaspora in World History

The phenomenon of migration is as old as the evolution of human beings, which predates even the concept of world history. The interlocking relationship between human evolution, migration and the diaspora is best understood through the migratory nature of humans; a significant epoch in world history.

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Primer: Commodities

Commodities are raw materials or basic goods that are produced, transported, traded, and consumed. They are interchangeable, anonymous and are conventionally traded in vast quantities. While scholars have studied commodities like oil or coal or silk for decades, the bulk of this work was oriented around a single stage or link in a wider commodity chain.

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Students’ Guide to “Reading” Primary Sources on the History of Children & Youth

How do you study the history of young people? What can primary source documents reveal? What limitations do they pose? What light can the history of young people shed on the past? This essay aims to serve as a guide to finding, interpreting or “reading” primary sources on young people from ancient civilizations to the present.

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Analyzing Commission Records

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video below, historian Meredith McKittrick analyzes sources from a commission hearing conducted in southeastern Nigeria in 1930 by British colonial officials.

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Analyzing Manifest Records

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video below, Wendi Manuel-Scott analyzes manifest records from the SS Atenas. This ship sailed from Kingston, Jamaica, to New York City in 1920.

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Analyzing Census Data

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video below, historian Mills Kelly discusses the data from the 1910 census of the Hapsburg Monarchy. The census data was collected for most towns and cities throughout the Monarchy every few years from between 1880 and 1910.

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Analyzing Literary Sources

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. The video below features writing from a 14th century lai. Lais are short, poetic romances written during the Middle Ages in Western Europe. These stories were written and shared orally among nobility.

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Analyzing Oral Histories

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. This module is based on a series of oral history interviews conducted in the mid-1990s. The interviewees were Palestinian women who grew up under the British Mandate and were active in the Palestinian Women’s Movement.

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Analyzing Inquisition Documents

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history.. In the video, historian Joan Bristol analyzes records from the Mexican Inquisition, a tribunal created in Spain in the late 15th century to prosecute people who committed crimes against Christianity.

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Analyzing Paintings and Prints

The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video below, historian Brian Platt analyzes two ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the Tokugawa or Edo period in Japan (1600 to 1867) created by the artist Utamaro in 1802.

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