Episode 56: How to be a historian – Episode 5

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

“Good historians…have the future in their bones”   (Edward Hallett Carr, What Is History?)

Welcome to Histories of the Unexpected where you will discover the history of things that you did not know had a history; like the history of the bubble, or the history of the party.

From clocks to dreams we have explored a wide range of unexpected histories. Now, you can get a chance to explore your own unexpected history of choice with this episode. Join Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell in this, the fifth episode of how to be a historian, as they explain how to choose a topic.

If you’re just someone who wants to find out more about a topic or a student trying to come up with a subject for your A levels or dissertations at university, this episode is for you!

Find out where to start with your historical research: libraries, databases, archives and even yourself and the people around you, and how do you divide all this information into a manageable topic. What are secondary and primary sources and why they are important to your research? Discover the answers and how James and Sam come up with topics for their books and for this podcast.

With this episode you will be well on your way to researching a topic of your own.


“There is a history in all men’s lives.”      (William Shakespeare, Henry IV)

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