Historical Research

Historical Research

Historical research is a study and analysis of the past events to predict the future.

It involves systematic collection and objective evaluation of data related to past


  • The study of historical method and writing is known as
  • “True historical research, or historiography, is concerned with analyzing and interpreting the meaning of historical events. It is a process by which a researcher is able to reach a conclusion as to the probable truth of an event in the past studying objects available for observation in the present “
  • Merely collecting data related to the past events and presenting a chronology is not historical research.
  • “Historical method is much more synthetic and eclectic in its approach than other

research methods

The purposes of historical research are:

  • To reconstruct the past;
  • To discover unknown events;
  • To understand significance of events;
  • To discover the context of an organization /movement/the situation;
  • To find answers to questions about the past;
  • To study cause – and effect relationship;
  • To study relationship between the past and the present; and
  • To record and evaluate the accomplishments of individuals, institutions and

            other kinds of organizations

  • To provide understanding of the immediate phenomenon of concern
  • To understand the cultural context of libraries


  • The human past is the subject matter of historical research
  • A researcher cannot re-enact the past but can only interpret it unlike experimental research.

Library History : historical research conducted in the field of library and information science is called library history.

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