Session 5 – Historical Archives: Archaeologists and Text

On the 1st November we visited the Hartley Library and were met by the Senior Archivist and the Special Collections Librarian. We were shown the latest temporary exhibition on display in the archives section of the library, and were given an introduction to the Cope Collection.

You can read about the Cope Collection here:

We did a quick run round the library, introducing other sources of information, including the map collection and the microfiche collection.

In the group study room, we talked a little about the different ways that archaeologists and historians look at primary and secondary sources, covering in particular the importance of using object-driven approaches for archaeologists in understanding a source.

Some of the session was spent discussing material culture studies and how useful this is for source analysis, with a brief foray into post-processual archaeology looking at Tilley’s approach to reading rock art as ‘text’.

Presentation below.

We also discussed the many different methodologies for analysing a textual source, and how most of them included the questions: What? Who? Why? Where? When? The worksheet below is just one method for analysing a text. It uses questions from the SCIM-C method of source analysis.