Skip to Main Content

HIST 301: Historian's Craft (Petty, Spring 2024)

Where to Start?

Types of Sources

  1. The role of Colonial WIlliamsburg workers and the many jobs they do to support themselves (and the living museum)
    1. Interviews, newspaper coverage, material published by the organization.
  2. The effects of the salt trade in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, when determining wealth entering the colonial period
    1. historical statistics, contemporary documents about the salt trade (see early english books), trade records in British History Online and State Papers databases. Discussion of salt trade in contemporary periodicals and newspapers
  3. Why the triangle shirtwaist fires occurred, how did the outcome create/develop laws and protection for labor safety, and the lasting impacts of the catastrophe that we still see today.
    1. Newspaper coverage from the period, interviews, narratives, publications from the period. Keyword search in HathiTrust limited to 5 years after the fire
  4.  The cultural, political, and economic changes that led to a  female-dominated teaching industry in America.
    1. Personal narratives of teachers, adverts for all girls academies, course curricula, newspaper covers of womens schools and teachers colleges. Our Spec Col has materials on womens academies.
  5.  What was the relationship between Country Music, Blues music, and the Southern working class in the early 20th century?
    1. Lyrics and songbooks. There are reference books that will list songs from specific time period by genre. Recordings.
  6. P.T. Barnum’s effect on the performance industry
    1. advertisements and newspapers about Barnum. His own writings.
  7.  Comparing and contrasting organized labor in Baltimore: rail yard workers vs longshoremen 
    1. labor records of organizations involved. Newspaper coverage. interviews and personal narratives
  8.  the history of women’s labour in the Episcopal Church in the  South from 1900 to the present day
    1. Church publications (search the church as Author in worldcat), personal narratives (Ex)
  9.  the corporate scam that was the Fyre Festival and the laborers residing on Great Exuma as well as the surrounding islands
    1. News coverage, interviews,economic reports
  10. The moonshine industry most predominantly around the prohibition era
    1. newspapers, interviews, legal records. Look in LexisUni to see if there are arrest records for bootleggers for this period.
  11. the decline of small-time dairy farming operations in favor of corporations and how it has affected rural areas.
    1. Historical demographic data; newspaper coverage; contemporary agricultural reports; personal narratives and interviews
  12. the lives of workers in logging camps in the American midwest and west during the 19th and early 20th century.
    1. newspapers, magazine stories, personal narratives, cultural material like songbooks, cookbooks,etc.
  13. focus on pit orchestra musicians, because especially in this day and age, musicals are forgoing having a live orchestra and instead using a recording for shows to cut costs.
    1. musician trade magazines, music database list (Ex Entertainment industry magazine archive, music periodicals database, business source), newspapers, interviews
  14.  public works projects that took place in Virginia during the Great Depression era as a result of the New Deal. 
    1. PWA publications, interviews, newspaper articles
  15. the folk music of American laborers of the 19th and 20th centuries (coal industry, railroad, maritime, etc.) and analyze how songs were used to process and assign blame for major industrial accidents
    1. Lyrics and songbooks. There are reference books that will list songs from specific time period by genre. Recordings.
  16. Jackson: the labor disputes between the National Basketball Association and Players Union over various contingency points in 1988 and in 2011
    1. newspapers, interviews, NBA statements, Players union statements, media coverage
  17. The wobblies and the syndicalist movement in America, centered around the early 1910s
    1. Union records and publications, search "Industrial Workers of the World" as author in worldcat limited to pubs 1910-1920
  18. labor on the West Coast, likely specifically the railroads and how that labor relates to immigration in the 19th/20th century.
    1. newspaper coverage, personal narratives, labor organization records (search union as author in worldcat)
  19. Why did the Playstation and Playstation 2 sell well?
    1. business journal articles, trade articles, media coverage, company statements
      1. I still maintain buying my Sega Dreamcast was the better purchase.
  20.  the impact of the Industrial Revolution on women's labor (type, expectations, dangers, etc.) in the United States
    1. historical statistics, personal narratives (Ex), newspaper coverage of women involved in industrial accidents. you will want to narrow to a specific industry.
  21. the impact of the Industrial Revolution on women's labor (type, expectations, dangers, etc.) in the United States
    1. ibid.
  22. “ghost towns” in America to investigate the cause and effects of shifting centers of labor and industry on the populations of these now small, and often neglected, towns.
    1. historical demographic statics and census reports, newspaper coverage, media coverage
  23. Stewart: child labor in late 19th century specifically, the exploitation of children in factories during the Industrial Revolution and how this exploitation led to various child labor laws to protect children and give them the more rights
    1. Publications by reform groups, newspaper coverage, magazine coverage, legal materials, interviews and first hand accounts, legal reports, gov reports, congressional reports and testimony
  24. Catherine: Delano Grape Strike in 1965 and how the manongs, Filipino male agricultural workers, brought this change about. 
    1. newspaper coverage, personal narratives