How Do Historians Study the Past?

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Historians study the past by gathering dates from archives, books, artifacts and documents, according to the United States Department of Labor. They use this data to analyze and develop an interpretation of history.

Historians use the collection of data from government agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, historical associations and records to interpret the past, according to the United States Department of Labor. They might also use artifacts, such as photographs, films, tools and other important items to paint a picture of how things were during a particular era in a specific location. Historians are found in many career paths. They are educators, writers and museum curators, and many hold government positions.

The job of a historian is to develop a clear idea of what the circumstances were surrounding particular historical events, people and places. In some cases, historians may work within a museum to help tell the story of a particular group of people in history. They can also teach history classes in high schools or colleges. Historians could also be responsible for the research of historical information relating to policy issues. In some cases, they are utilized in legal cases to provide historical evidence that relates to a specific case.