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Introduction to Archives: home page

Students looking at an archives exhibition

Using primary sources can be highly rewarding and offers exciting opportunities for research but it requires a different set of skills to using secondary sources.

The aims of this website are:

  • to teach young people the fundamentals of archival research, and
  • to enable them to carry out such research independently.

The website is a series of sections, in three parts:

  1. Introduction to archives: What archives are, the key principles of archival research and how to access primary sources (sections 1-6).
  2. Rupert Brooke case study: How these ideas apply to the papers of Rupert Brooke, through interpretation activities focussing on different aspects of his life and a few of his most famous poems (sections 7-10).
  3. Critical thinking: This section consolidates what students have learned in the previous sections and encourages them to think about subjectivity/objectivity and how to plan research projects.

Although sections can be carried out individually, if students progress through the sections in order they will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of context when using archives.

There are activities and points for discussion throughout. If you are using this site as an individual, rather than in a group, you may still like to reflect on the points offered for discussion.

Feedback

If you have any questions or comments on this website please feel free to email archivist@kings.cam.ac.uk.

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