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Accidentally Found on Purpose: Information-Seeking Behavior of Historians in Archives

Wendy M. Duff and Catherine A. Johnson
The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy
Vol. 72, No. 4 (Oct., 2002), pp. 472-496
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40039793
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Accidentally Found on Purpose: Information-Seeking Behavior of Historians in Archives
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Abstract

This article reports on a qualitative research study of the information-seeking behavior of historians. Based on semistructured interviews with ten midcareer historians, it investigates how they locate primary sources, carry out their research, and use archival material. The study identified four different types of information-seeking activities, including (1) orienting oneself to archives, finding aids, sources, or a collection; (2) seeking known material; (3) building contextual knowledge; and (4) identifying relevant material.

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