EE's blog


Sources & Truth

29 May 2014
Sources err. Sources quibble. Sources exaggerate. Sources misremember. Sources are biased. Sources have egos and ideologies. Sources jostle for a toehold in the marketplace of ideas. So why do we invest so much of our own energy into the citation of those sources? Because all sources are not created equal. History is not ...

Epigraphs, Incipits & Explicits

28 May 2014
History and literature have spawned many technical words that are not in everyday use. Still, we should know what they represent when we encounter the terms. Today, we consider three of those ...

Using Oral History

27 May 2014
Okay. This is not really a test. It's an opportunity to share your experience and the conclusions you have drawn from it. Here, we present several observations scholars across time have made about the value and reliability of oral history. Which of these best reflects your own findings—and why?

Understanding What We Find

26 May 2014
Beginning researchers often anticipate a three-step process: 1. Gather information. 2. Organize it. 3. "Write it up." One critical step is missing from this progression. EE would add ...

Did They Really Say That?

25 May 2014
When a clever quote is attributed to a famous person, it's tempting to just grab the quote and run with it. That's why we see ...

Manuscript Registers with Suspiciously Long Date Spans

24 May 2014
Among the county level records of Cayuga County, New York (for example), we find a volume labeled "Homestead Exemptions, 1851-1966." One hundred and fifteen years is an inordinately long span of years for one record book at ...

World War II—Rationing on the U.S. Homefront:

23 May 2014
"War ration books and tokens were issued to each American ... dictating how much gasoline, tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, nylon and other items any one person could buy. ... Even chicken wire fencing was rationed. ..." Have you ...


22 May 2014
Some practitioners of the law have a concept that's equally useful to historical research and writing: counteranalysis. Putnam and Albright's guide to legal research defines counteranalysis this way: "It is the process of ...

Imply, Infer, and Evidentiary Weight

21 May 2014
Imply or infer? The differences in these two words have implications for the historical researcher as well as the grammarian. ...

TUESDAY'S TEST REVISITED: Tracking the Urban Poor

20 May 2014
Our Tuesday's Test for 6 May was a bit of a stumper: What records can we use to trace the urban poor? Given that EE is all about sources and evidence, not just citation formulas ...