Research using archives is rewarding but can also be challenging. Each period of history has its own quirks and this can impact on the ability of the researcher to read and interpret archival material.
The following is a guide to some of the skills and knowledge needed to work successfully with archives. It includes links to hardcopy and electronic resources that can help you develop and practice these skills further. The hardcopy resources referenced in this guide can all be accessed either at the Brynmor Jones Library or at Hull History Centre.
Topics covered by this guide are: palaeography; archaic words and spelling; historical date systems; weights and measures; language; transcription.
Upcoming archives workshops
Find details of our archival skills workshops and how to book on to a session.
Request a personal appointment
Want to find archive material for use in your own research or coursework? One of the archivists from Hull University Archives will be happy to chat with you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Related books and eBooks from our collection
- The handwriting of English documents by An excellent introduction to English hands 850-1537, with photographic examples and transcriptions.Call Number: Z 115 E5 H4Publication Date: 1966
- A Handbook of Dates by A Handbook of Dates is an unrivalled reference book for historians. It provides in clear, user-friendly form, tables which allow the calculation of the dates (and days) on which historical events have fallen or will fall, from AD 500 to 2100. It describes the calendars and other systems used for dating purposes in England from Roman times to the present, including regnal years. Lists of Easter dates, saints' days, popes, rulers of England and the Roman calendar are also given. In this updated and expanded edition, edited by Professor Michael Jones, the introductory materials for each set of tables has been revised. New tables for legal chronology, old and new style dates, Celtic Easter, adoption of Gregorian style, and the French Revolutionary calendar have been added, while the existing Anglo-Saxon regnal lists have been significantly revised. A Handbook of Dates is an essential tool for all researchers in British history.Call Number: D 1 R85 G9(4)ISBN: 0521770955Publication Date: 2000-04-06
- A dictionary of archaic and provincial words by A dictionary of archaic terms.Call Number: PE 520 H1Publication Date: n.d.
- Latin for Local History by Latin for Local History provides a self-teaching guide for those historians who wish to tackle the language in which the majority of pre-eighteenth century historical records have been written. It is unique in dealing onlywith Latin found in historical records of the medieval period. Practice material and exercises are provided in the form of documents most commonly encountered by the historian in their research - deeds, charters, court rolls, accounts, bishops' registers and so on.Call Number: PA 2923 G6ISBN: 0582487285Publication Date: 1978-06-19
- A Dictionary of Weights, Measures, and Units by This comprehensive and authoritative dictionary provides clear definitions of units, prefixes, and styles of weights and measures within the Systeme International (SI), as well as traditional, and industry-specific units. It also includes general historical and scientific background, coveringthe development of the sequential definitions and sizing of units. This new reference work will prove invaluable to professional scientists, engineers, technicians as well as to students and the general user.DT Over 1,600 clear and concise entries complete with historical backgroundDT Covers a broad range of disciplines, including astronomy, electromagnetics, geology, photography, mathematics, meteorology, physics, and temperatureDT Notes on associated terminologyDT Numerous tables, including the geochronologic scale and the equation of timeDT Comprehensive coverage of the whole Systeme InternationalCall Number: 530.8 FENISBN: 0198605226Publication Date: 2002-10-26