Answered By: Elyse Wolf
Last Updated: May 01, 2018     Views: 24

A historiography is going to tell you what other historians have said on a subject over a span of time, not bring something new into the historical conversation.

Since we don't have a database of historiographical essays, you will need to search in one of our history research databases.  Here are the steps:

  • From the library home page, click on the "A-Z Database List" link on the left side of the page.
  • Then, click on the "All Subjects" drop-down menu and change it to "History."
  • Of these, JSTOR is one of the best for breadth of content, so give that one a try first.
  • Use historiography as one of your keywords like this: “War of 1812” AND historiography

This is strictly a keyword search, so it's looking for articles that have the phrase "War of 1812" as well as the word historiography.  Right on the first page, you will see several good candidates.  How do we know they are good candidates?  Here are some clues:

  • You will often see a time span mentioned.  For example, in the results for the “War of 1812” AND historiography search, several of the essays mention that it’s the bicentennial of this war and that’s a great time to review what has already been discussed and debated regarding this topic.
  • You will see frequent references to other historians and their works because that is the goal of this type of work.  It’s basically a review of the literature that has already been written on a certain topic.

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