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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. Multiple editions are held by the Dana Porter Library.

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 Omni, the Library's catalogue

Try this 2 step approach:

1. In Omni, the Library's catalogue and other databases, enter the term:


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

canad* immigra*

Omni, the library catalogue's advanced search for historiograph* AND canad* AND immigra*

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

Guides on writing historiographies