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History Research Guide: Historiography

What is historiography?

Historiography is both the writing of history and the study of how history is written

A historiographical essay identifies a body of literature on a topic and examines the ways in which "historians' approaches, themes, and questions have developed over the years and from place to place, providing insight into the historians and their times as well as the historical topic under discussion". * 

* William Kelleher Storey and Towser Jones, Writing History: a Guide for Canadian Students, 3rd ed. (Don Mills, ON: , 2011), 125.

For another explanation of historiography, here is a video by Kyle D. Stedman (University of Southern Florida). [2 minutes]

Examples of historiographies

Search for historiographies in the library catalogue

Try this 2 step approach:

1. In the libray catalogue and other research databases, enter the term:


2. Add term(s) about the subject area you are focusing on for example:

historiograph* canad*


historiograph* canad* immigra*

NOTE: the asterisk (*) will retreive records containing words with the stem, so, for example historiograph* will retrieve records with: historiographical, historiography, historiographies, historiographers, etc.

Guides on writing historiographies