EE's blog


Interpreting Agricultural Census Data

29 April 2014
A historical monograph published by a university press invokes the agricultural schedule of the 1850 U.S. census and asserts: "Considering [this individual's wealth], the census statistics ...

Citing Misfiled Documents

28 April 2014
Historic records are frequently filed or bound in chronological sequence. Across the years, many have been misfiled or bound amid records of a different time frame ...

Italics Are Good, but Avoid Gluttony

27 April 2014
In historical writing and citing, italics have one purpose: emphasis. We most commonly see them used in five ways: ...

Citing Church Registers

26 April 2014
Church registers deal with many different types of events. In churches that record the administration of sacraments, registers may be specifically set aside ...

90,000 Historic Film Clips

25 April 2014
The newsreel archive British Pathé has built an incredible store of historic film clips—90,000 at its website. Now, it has just uploaded 85,000 to YouTube. Ten categories ...

Citing Vital Records

24 April 2014
What are the two unbreakable rules for citing vital records--and why do they matter?


23 April 2014
No. That's not a typo. It's a principle of common law we encounter in historical documents more often than we realize. The problem is: we seldom see that label on the situations that invoke it. Not recognizing it ...

Writing History

22 April 2014
Thomas Mann wrote essays, novels, and short stories. He did it well enough to become a Nobel laureate. He also wrote: "A writer is ...

What Makes Research Successful?

21 April 2014
Successful research is reliable research. It is not achieved by querying the Internet for names, by using indexes and databases as though they were actual records, or by accepting uncritically whatever conclusions others tout. It ...

Placement of Reference Numbers amid Text

20 April 2014
Rules for classic expository writing tell us that reference note numbers should be placed at the end of sentences or the end of paragraphs, outside the closing punctuation mark. However, that classic rule will mislead our readers—and us at a later date—if ...