Who is the Historian?
Published: January 2016© 2016
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 144 Pages
Dimensions: 5.50 x 8.50
144 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 0.40 in
Who is the historian? What do historians do? Where do their explorations take them? What is the impact of the digital age on historical research?
In an affable style, Nigel A. Raab answers these questions for those intrigued by the past. Each chapter describes a specific aspect of "doing history," beginning in the physical spaces of archives and libraries around the globe. Readers are then introduced to the sources—texts, oral interviews, films, and objects—which historians interpret. Raab points out that historians do not work alone with their materials; rather, archivists, librarians, and others play a crucial role in what he calls the web of the historian's work. Readers will also learn about the skill set imparted to those pursuing a historical education. In the final chapter, Raab brings all these themes together to demonstrate the value of the historian in the contemporary world.
1. The Spaces in Which We Work
2. The Sources We Use
3. The Web of the Historian's Work
4. The Historian in the Digital Age
5. The Skill Set of the Historian
6. History, the Historian, and the Humanities
Nigel A. Raab's engaging style, starting with his own admission of uncertainty as a student, and his undisguised passion for history will be both a comfort and an inspiration for those who are looking for direction. His gentle instruction as to how to make yourself a better historian will likewise be a helpful tool for those who are just beginning to learn how to investigate the past. Medievalists.net
It is a welcome acknowledgement by the author that the historian depends on many other people in the universe of doing history but also acknowledges that the individual historian works alone but often also in collaboration and often outside academe. The great strength of this book is the acknowledgment that historians never really work in isolation. Left History
In these thoughtful reflections, Nigel A. Raab reminds us that in a world awash in digital information, historians remain integral to the interpretation of our humanness.Virginia H. Aksan, McMaster University
This slim volume will help students understand their own humanity through the sights, sounds, and physicality of their relationship with the past. While previous generations of historians read their dog-eared copies of E.H. Carr's What Is History?, today's students of history will pick up their copies of Raab's Who Is the Historian? and seek themselves within its pages.Rebekah A. Klein-Pejsova, Purdue University