In May we are focusing on Finding Data in Documents and Datasets. You will find the unfolding series through this link. Explore the whole 2021 series on stages of the research process: Finding the Question, Choosing Methodology and Methods, Designing an Ethical Study, and Collecting Data from & with Participants.
In today’s world, documents and artifacts are being scanned and photographed, and made available online. The the Society of American Archivists, a professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists, has put together an open-access resource that can help you get started. See Using Archives A Guide to Effective Research by Laura Schmidt.
What archives are openly available online?
While many archives require subscriptions, institutional affiliation or permission to access them, you can find openly-available online archives that might contain relevant primary source materials. Here are a few examples:
Government Archives contain public records, census and other reports.
- National Archives and Records Administration (US)
- National Archives (UK)
- National Archives of India
- Archives Nationales (France)
Museum Archives contain examples from their collections, records of exhibitions, and related materials.
- British Museum Library and Archive
- Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Metropolitan Museum of Art (and free publications)
National Libraries contain links to archived publications, media, and historical materials.
Relevant MethodSpace Posts
- Facebook Groups as Research Method
- The One Netnography Tool You Should Never Be Without: The Immersion Journal—Part 1 of 4
- Practical Tips for Getting Started with Harvesting and Analyzing Online Text
- Online Research: Analyze Talk
- Thinking about collecting qualitative data using digital methods? Introducing Tracking and Trawling
- Using Social Media for Research Podcast
- Netnography Explained