Research Methods

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Introduction

You already have a research method, but do you know what it is? Have you thought about the implications for your work given the research method you use? Researchers at all levels are, or should be, always asking themselves questions about their research methods. How do I conduct my research? How do I find the archives I need? What do I do during archive visits? How do I form my research questions? Having a system doesn't necessarily mean that you are conducting research in the most effective way, or answering your research questions appropriately. As we spend more years researching, we evaluate and modify our research methods, sometimes even discarding the old method and using an entirely new one.


Research Methods are at the core of what we do, and so this module is taught at the very beginning of the programme, to give you time to develop or modify your own research methods as the MA progresses.


At the moment, there are no established Research Methods standards in the field of photohistory. This is partly because in photographic studies, the 'method' has two components: handling the primary material (objects), and developing a methodology for writing about the primary material. If you were studying in a museum, you might primarily learn about handling, with little exposure to methodology. If you learned photohistory at a University without access to a collection, more often you will have been exposed to one or more ways of interrogating photographic pictures and historical information (methodology). This Research Methods will address both areas, to give you the broadest possible skill base from which to develop your own working method.

....is intrinsically interdisciplinary but not in the way it is often used today.

Please not that you MUST PASS this module before you begin the Dissertation module.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will have:

1. Demonstrated an ability to handle a range of historical materials including photographs, manuscripts and objects

2. Understood the importance of citation of various styles (Chicago Manual of Style, Humanities and Author/Date) and their use in web versus print based publications

3. Demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of conceptual and practical research methods and techniques at hte appropriate level

4. Evaluated currently available electronic resorces used for photographic history

5. Worked with digital images for various professional purposes