Limerick City Council

Researcher's Handbook

In the year 2000 Limerick Corporation (now Limerick City Council) engaged the historian and researcher Sinéad McCoole as Historian in Residence at Limerick City Library. This was a year-long project to celebrate the new millennium. During the course of her year as Historian in Residence Ms. McCoole ran a series of very successful research workshops for the benefit of second level students. She also produced the book  'Researcher's Handbook - Limerick City Library Millennium Project' which gives a step-by-step guide to researching a history project with a particular focus on using library resources. This book is geared towards Irish Leaving Certificate students who are doing the Special History Topic but should prove invaluable to anyone researching a history project, whether it be at a higher educational level, writing for a local history journal or planning to write a book of local history.


Preliminary pages (2,387 Kb) - cover, title page, table of contents, Mayor's address, foreword, introduction.

What is research? (976 Kb) - What is research from the point of view of a historian?; Explore the evidence; Read a variety of sources; Assess the information; Establish the argument.

Your project - an outline (500 Kb) - Locate data - use primary and secondary sources; Select and record relevant data; Evaluate the data; Organise your data and present findings in a well-structured format.

Locate the data (1,563 Kb) - The library; The layout of the library; The book shelving system; The catalogue; Inter-library loan; The internet; Biographical dictionaries and other sources.

Select and record (2,712 Kb) - Books - the tools of the trade; How to read a book like a researcher; Use the index; Take note; Paraphrase don't plagiarise; Use books as guides to other sources; Primary material in the secondary source; Sources of further information.

Evaluate the data (4,250 Kb) - Understanding the historical context; Use reputable sources; Assess the information for relevance; Newspapers - vital clues and information; Some of the pitfalls of using newspapers as sources; Primary sources : original material; Oral history - the use of first hand accounts.

Present your findings (707 Kb) - Organise your data and present findings in a well structured and logical format; Make valid points; The collection of the best (using the material you have found which underscores the thrust of your argument); Structure; Editing.

End pages (771 Kb) - acknowledgements, copyrights & permissions, back cover


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