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Sources for Historical Inquiry: Welcome

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About Sources for Historical Inquiry

History allows us to question our understanding of why things are the way they are and the assumptions we make. History enables us to foster a long view of social, political, economic and cultural issues that we would no consider if we simply take for granted the so-called facts, which may simply be interpretations - and which are so easily found on the internet.

This guide attempts to bring together print and online sources from the different collections at UCL, IOE and in the other libraries that form part of UCL Library Services.  There is also a list of freely available digital resources and links to other library collections around Bloomsbury. The guide is aimed at scholars who intend to use historical inquiry in their research.

The Value of Historical Inquiry

In 1949, George Orwell wrote, "Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past" (Nineteen Eighty Four).

Thirty years later,  Raymond Williams author of Keywords (1983) wrote, "history ...teaches or shows us most kinds of knowable past and almost every kind of imaginable future".  In Keywords, Williams looks at the etymology of words.  Through his study of the words, he shows us that  just as things come into and out of fashion, so do words and the meanings of these words change over time.

Featured Book

Featured Resource: DERA

The featured resource for this month is DERA which stands for Digital Education Resource Archive

DERA is a digital archive of all official/governent documents published electronically by the UK governrment and related bodies in the area of education. DERA is accessible from


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