Social Studies 8. Chapter One Class Notes: History & The Historian. Text: Voyage to Discovery, pp. 10-21. What is History (Page 12):
Chapter One Class Notes:
History & The Historian
This chapter deals with what history is, how one studies history, and how things in the past influence life in the present. We also look at how things such as artifacts (ex: old pictures) can help us learn about what life was like years ago.
A study of the past
Gathering and examining something that happened
A living subject
An interpretation of past events
History is all around us. Sources of history include:
Stories and tales from the past
Monuments and memorials
NL’s history was impacted when the official name of this province was changed from Newfoundland to Newfoundland and Labrador on December 6, 2001. (Note: the text uses the term Newfoundland to refer to the entire province prior to December, 2001)
History is alive because it exists in each of our individual memories.
Individual Past – made up of the major events and experiences in your life that shape you and your memories; includes who you are, where you come from and what has influenced you. It is your personal history.
autobiography (written account of a person’s life written by that person)
biography (written account of a person’s life written by someone else)
family tree (diagram showing the descendants of a common ancestor)
Historians are professionals who investigate and interpret the past
Just as crime scene investigators use a specific method to find out answers about a crime they are investigating, historians use a specific method to find out answers to historical questions that they are investigating.
The four steps of the historical method are:
1. Pose a good historical question
Ask questions such as the 5 Ws and How?
2. Collect reliable information
What sources of information are available?
What sources have the needed information?
Are the sources reliable?
3. Organize and evaluate information
How will you organize the information?
What patterns come from the information?
4. Interpret information and present conclusions
Are there any conclusions that you can draw from your research?
Information can be collected from many different sources such as the school's LRC, the Rooms, and web sites such as the Heritage Newfoundland web site.
Primary Source - a first hand account made at the time that an event occurs
Examples: photographs, diaries and letters, government documents, weapons, tools, artifacts, art, oral history, interviews, music & headstones.
Secondary Source -an interpretation of an event based on information gathered from primary sources
Examples: books, essays, encyclopedias, magazines, films, & newspaper articles
Libraries and Museums – Ex: The QE2 Library at MUN, the Rooms.
Libraries contain secondary sources.
Museums contain objects from the past known as artifacts; mostly primary sources which are on display
Archives – Ex: provincial archives in the Rooms
Archives contain primary sources which are not on display
Archival materials include documents, images, sound and video recordings, and personal papers
Monuments – Ex: Echos of Valour Memorial in St. Lawrence
Historic Sites – Ex: L'Anse aux Meadows
Internet – Ex: www.heritage.nf.ca
Oral history - Ex: stories, songs
Literary and artistic expressions – Ex: Trinity pageant, Random Passage