This course represents a fundamental step in your path toward becoming an historian. Think of it as an apprenticeship where you will work closely with the instructor and other students through a workshop-approach to practice the skills that historians use all the time. We will take skills that you already have—your ability to read and take notes, to conduct research, to analyze and properly cite sources, and to form original arguments—and we will polish them over the course of the semester with the goal of equipping you for the work you will do in upper-division history courses. We will talk about what it means to be an historian, why we do history, and the ethical responsibilities that come with this role. We will focus specifically on London, England in the mid- to late-Nineteenth Century. We will use the well-known murders of five women by “Jack the Ripper” as a centering point for our research into the social, economic, environmental, and political realities of the era and space. The primary and secondary resources you will read and the assignments you will complete will all connect to this theme.
The purpose of this guide is to support your research efforts by highlighting relevant resources, library tools, and collections.