Mary is perplexed. As a family researcher, she has found a derivative source (a newspaper account) that mentions an original court record. But diligent efforts to find the original have been fruitless. How does she report this? she asks, in another forum. As usual, she received a variety of opinions. As usual, there were substantial contradictions between them and some confusion over concepts. Let’s try to iron out a few of them.
QuickTips: The Blog @ Evidence Explained
18 March 2015 A recent discussion of proof arguments triggered a common question: Why can’t we just ‘let the documents do the talking’? Unfortunately, documents don’t talk. They may lie, but they do not talk and they cannot ...
12 August 2014 Proof is not a document. It’s a body of evidence. As biographers or historians of whatever ilk, we do not ‘prove’ a point by discovering a record that asserts something. That assertion could be wrong. If so, any further work we do on the basis of that misinformation will likely be wrong or irrelevant. Not even ...
Proof Argument vs. Proof Summary
19 July 2014 "Proof" is a loaded word. Different fields define it in radically different ways. Some even argue that proof cannot exist in historical research because none of us can say with certainty what happened in the past. All we can do ...EE Sat, 07/19/2014 - 07:00