History Hunting: A Guide for Fellow Adventurers, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

History Hunting

A Guide for Fellow Adventurers, 1st Edition

By James W. Cortada


296 pages

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The book offers guidance to aspiring historians at every stage and in every walk of life, from practical advice on tackling and organizing projects to recommendations for finding and using resources of all kinds, whether at the local library or historical society or on the world wide web. It is intended to be a serious guide to the best practices for researchers as well as a good read as a collection of research stories. The author includes useful bibliographies, vetted websites, and practical advice on doing research well.


"A unique and invaluable guide to historical research and writing whose dimensions are unprecedented and also very up-to-date. From traditional history to information technology to genealogy to bibliographies, this step-by-step approach has no genuine equivalent." —Stanley Payne, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"In History Hunting, Jim Cortada sheds light on his notable personal history and breathes life into the daily work of the practicing historian--from hunting down complete sets of Spanish encyclopedias to coordinating a multigenerational family history project to archiving the contemporary history of information technology. Researching, refining, preparing, writing--the clues to prolific authorship are in this book." —Thomas J. Misa, University of Minnesota

"This is a warm and useful guide to researching and writing history. While the book is a perfect choice for the amateur historian, it also has important advice for the professional. If you are just getting started, how do you identify the right topic? Where do you begin and end your story? Where do you find source material? How do you take advantage of the resources that are available online, and how do you know whether to trust the information you find there? This guide addresses all the steps to completing a research project successfully, and it does so in a clear and practical way." —Bill Aspray, University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents


1. In the Beginning

2. The Perfect Project

3. Studying the Age of Information

4. The Hunt for My Family's History

5. Big-Game Hunting

6. Great Hunters I Have Known

7. Researcher as Archivist

8. Into the Mind of the Historian

9. Using History for Fun and Profit

10. The Future of the Hunt


About the Author

James W. Cortada is a Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Historiography
HISTORY / Study & Teaching