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Research: Social History
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This introduction to social history will provide examples and resources of subject matter from many areas of interest to the social historian. Rather than being a comprehensive discussion of social history, the material is intended to inspire your research into the lives of your people and the times and places they lived in. Your ancestors, their families, and the society they lived in may be different from the examples given but only by researching the specifics of their lives, their communities, the world around them and the forces and influences that shaped their environment can you begin to know who they were.

Note: Assignments in this course will require the student to do social history research on the Internet and/or at a local library. How in-depth the research will be, depends on the student’s own personal interest on the subject.

One student’s experience:
To hear a student discussion regarding their experience with this course, please click here. (This is a large file and may take a minute or two to download.)

COURSE CONTENT

Module 1
Introduction to Social History
Note about Web Addresses
Websites

Introduction
  • Course Overview

    Resources
  • Understanding Current Events: Historic Newspapers
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Understanding the Period: Historical Books
  • Understanding Society: Magazines and Journals
  • Historical Directories
  • Research Papers, Reports and Statistics
  • Contemporary letters and diaries
  • Libraries, archives, museums and collections
  • Maps, illustrations, photographs, paintings, film
  • Interviewing and oral history
  • Records and documents

    How to Record and Share Social History
  • Genealogy Software
  • Blogging
  • Online story sharing
  • Self-publishing: Print on demand and eBook
  • YouTube and Vimeo

    Suggested Reading and Resources

    Module 2
    People, Family and Society
    Websites

    Demographics: Population, race and class
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Harris Family, 1851 Sheffield, Yorkshire

    Sexuality and Morality
  • Resources
  • Case Study: William Bulmer, son of Ann Bulmer, Spinster, East Cowton, Yorkshire, 31 March 1850

    Marriage and Divorce
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Children and Childhood
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Customs and Traditions
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Bond Family, 1850 Lancashire, England

    Social Currents, Ethnicity and Prejudices
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Lawrence Family, 1870 Baltimore City, Maryland

    Leisure, hobbies and games
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Bulmer Family, 1910 Toronto, Canada

    Suggested Reading and Resources
  • Books
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Websites

    Module 3
    Domestic Life
    Websites
    Introduction to Domestic Life

    Environment
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Clothing and Fashion
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Food and Cooking
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    House and Home
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Housekeeping
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Land and Property
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Alcohol and Drugs
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Suggested Reading and Resources
  • Books
  • Websites

    Module 4
    Birth, Life, and Death
    Websites

    Birth
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Autobiography of Mrs. Alice Thornton, of East Newton, Co. York

    Health and Lifestyle
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Report of the Council of Hygiene and Public Health of the Citizens of New York

    Healing: treatments, medicines, surgery
  • Resources
  • Case Study: History of Dental Care

    Disease and epidemics
  • Resources
  • Case Study: A History of the Yellow Fever: The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878, in Memphis

    Mental health
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Nellie Bly, Ten Days in a Madhouse

    Mortality: Death and Burials
  • Resources
  • Case Study: London mortality rolls 1657-1758

    Suggested Reading and Resources
  • Books
  • Websites

    Module 5
    Work, Wages and Economy
    Websites

    Economy: Prices, Cost of Living and Salaries
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Lawrence Family, 1930 Washington State, United States

    Occupations, working conditions and the labour movement
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Businesses and employers
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Ford Motor Company

    Social Welfare
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Bond Family, London England, 1890

    Suggested Reading and Resources
  • Books
  • Websites

    Module 6
    Community, Religion and Government
    Websites

    Community
  • Resources
  • Case Study

    Fairs and Markets
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Toronto Industrial Exhibition

    Celebrations and holidays
  • Resources
  • Case Study: The Christmas Tree

    Education, language and literacy
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Corporal Punishment in English Education

    Religion, church, faith and persecution
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Puritans in Rhode Island

    Crime and punishment
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Arthur Sydney Williams, 1900

    War, Revolution and Unrest
  • Resources
  • Case Study: 1773 Boston Tea Party

    Suggested Reading and Resources
  • Books
  • Websites

    Module 7
    Game Changers
    Websites

    Emigration
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Scotland to Canada 1803

    Inventions
  • Resources
  • Case Study: George Eastman and Kodak

    Transportation
  • Resources
  • Case Study: The Wreck of the Sultana

    Communication
  • Resources
  • Case Study: Spafford Family Tragedy & the 1873 Telegram, ‘Saved Alone’

    Suggested Reading and Resources
  • Websites

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