Robert A. Karl Profile picture
Colombia past + present; author of #ForgottenPeace/#LaPazOlvidada. Host, Research/Craft. Prof @MinervaUni; frmly @Princeton, @the_IAS

Jul 21, 2018, 12 tweets

I visited 16 archives on 3 continents, took digital photos of 100K+ pgs of archival material, + gathered thousands more pgs in other formats to write #ForgottenPeace. As a result, I have a comprehensive system of archival methodologies + best practices #twitterstorians

I’ve given yearly workshops on these methods to colleagues, grad students, + undergrads @Princeton, as well as @UConnHistory. I’ve long thought of recording the presentations, both to share these ideas w/ a larger audience + to get feedback to improve my own practices

So here are my two videos on research methods for historians
1) (13:19)
2) (26:03)

Part #1 focuses on secondary sources and general best practices for organizing research materials. Even if you’re not a historian, there’s a lot here that may be useful to you.

Part #2 looks at photographing, indexing, and taking notes on archival materials.

5 additional #twitterstorian research tips that didn’t make it into the videos:
#1: I use the color-coding scheme on article PDFs, too

#twitterstorian research tip #2: If I’m reading a PDF on my laptop, I’ll often take notes in a TextEdit file. It’s unobtrusively off to one side, so I don’t have to toggle b/w my notes + the PDF. Has automatic spellcheck too, even in Spanish

#twitterstorian research tip #3: 1 thing I don’t love about DEVONthink is where it puts the text files. If you want to back up, control-click on a file, select Show in Finder. Tab over in Column view to the rtf folder, which you can then copy over to Drive for backup

#twitterstorian research tip #4: I have a spreadsheet called ToC, where I make my own tables of contents for works that lack them. Can also be helpful to calculate the % of a book comprised by a contributor’s work

#twitterstorian research tip #5: When I scan microfilmed newspapers, I put a keyword, the date, + pg # in the title of the file

I tweeted out some other productivity tips in the fall:

I hope these videos help you streamline + improve your research process! Please let me know your impressions + own practices. Will do a Spanish version of these videos at some point

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