Historical research in archives: user methodology and supporting tools
to appear in International Journal of Digital Libraries, Springer-Verlag
Historic research involves finding, using and correlating information within primary and secondary sources, in order to communicate an understanding of past events. In this process, historians employ their scientific knowledge, experience and intuition to formulate queries (who was involved in an event, when did an event occur etc), and subsequently try to locate the pertinent information from their sources. In this paper, we investigate how historians formulate queries, which query terms are chosen, and how historians proceed in searching for related information in sources. The insight gained from this investigation can be subsequently used for organizing documents within historical source repositories and building tools that will enable historians to access the needed information more rapidly and fully.
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