Postgraduate Research Training in History from the IHR: Summer 2013

Each year the IHR runs a wide-ranging and extensive programme of training in skills for historical researchers from universities throughout the UK. Using a range of teaching approaches (workshops, seminars, lectures, hands-on practicals and visits), important and specialised skills are explained and explored by expert practitioners. Courses are short (from one day to one term), cover the whole range of necessary skills – from archival use and languages to databases and the internet – and are priced to be within the means of students. Further details and registration forms for all courses are available at the Institute’s website –

Archival Research Skills

Methods and Sources for Historical Research (15-19 July 2013)
A week-long introduction to finding and gaining access to primary sources for historical research in archives, museums and online through an intensive programme of lectures and archival visits. Repositories to be visited will include the British Library, the National Archives, the Parliamentary Archives and the Wellcome Library amongst many others. Fee £225.

General Historical Skills

Local History Summer School (4 – 6 July 2013)
After its extremely successful inauguration in 2012, the Institute of Historical Research, in association with the Victoria County History, is very pleased to announce its second Summer School in Local History. This year the theme is ‘Local History in the Towns’. Through practical advice and example, students of the school will learn how to broaden and enrich their own local history projects, as well as having the opportunity to meet specialists and other researchers and to discuss their own work. The school will include sessions on ‘Sources and Approaches’, ‘People and Households’, ‘Space, Topography and the Built Environment’, ‘Urban Institutions’, ‘Business’ and ‘Pleasure’. The fee is £175.

Information Technology Courses

Databases for Historians (4-7 June 2013)
This four-day course introduces the theory and practice of constructing and using databases. Through a mixture of lectures and practical, hands-on, sessions, students will be taught both how to use and adapt existing databases, and how to design and build their own. No previous specialist knowledge apart from an understanding of historical analysis is needed. The software used is MS Access, but the techniques demonstrated can easily be adapted to any package. This course is open to postgraduate students, lecturers and all who are interested in using databases in their historical research. The course fee is £225.

Databases for Historians II: Practical Database Tools (25-27 July 2013)
The aim of this course is to develop the practical skills necessary for constructing and fully exploiting a database for use in historical research. Assuming a basic understanding of the conceptual issues in digitally managing information from historical sources, the course aims to introduce the specific tools and techniques required for improving the utility of the database from the data entry stage, through to the generation and presentation of analysis. The course consists of ‘hands-on’ practical sessions in which students are provided with practical guidance on employing these techniques through the use of Microsoft Access. Familiarity with the basic concepts of database use is required: participants should be confident working with Microsoft Access, and should have some knowledge of working with data tables and simple queries. The course fee is £180.

Internet Sources for Historical Research (3 June 2013)
This course provides an intensive introduction to use of the internet as a tool for serious historical research. It includes sessions on academic mailing lists, usage of gateways, search engines and other finding aids, and on effective searching using Boolean operators and compound search terms, together with advice on winnowing the useful matter from the vast mass of unsorted data available, and on the proper caution to be applied in making use of online information. The fee for the course is £100.

Textual Analysis with Computers (Two half-days: 11 and 18 June 2013)
Researchers in the social sciences and humanities are increasingly using computers to manage, organise and analyse qualitative data, that is, non-numerical data from textual sources. This one-day workshop introduces historians and archivists to this rapidly growing field, explaining both its strengths as an analytical approach and, more practically, how to set about it. Participants will learn how to use the most recent version of NVivo, a package in the NUD*IST stream of software from QSR designed to help manage, organise and analyse qualitative data, with particular attention being paid to its use for historical research projects. Fee £100.

For further information and application forms see or contact Dr Simon Trafford at Institute of Historical Research, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU or by email at

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