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


Last update:12/06/2011