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Visual Sources for Historians


Course Information

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An introduction to the use of art, photography, film and other visual sources by historians (post-1500). Through lectures, discussion and visits the course will explore films, paintings, photographs, architecture and design as historical sources, as well as provide an introduction to particular items both in situ and held in archives and libraries.

Course Code


Course Dates

21st February 2017 – 20th March 2017

Course Leader

Dr Lynne Walker

Course Fee

Course Description

Historians have always reached beyond the written to explore what material and visual culture can convey about culture, but recent years have seen an exponential expansion in the attention devoted to ‘things’ and a long-overdue re-evaluation of the importance of unwritten source material. Structured around lectures, discussions and visits, this course will offer the opportunity for students to consider films, paintings, photographs, architecture and design in situ - in galleries, museums and the built environment - as well as providing an introduction to visual sources held in archives and libraries. Students will also have the opportunity to talk in detail to archivists, librarians and curators about their own research needs, and to find out more about how particular libraries, museums and other archives may be useful to them.
The course takes the form of full-day sessions held over the course of five weeks. The sessions will start with a lecture which will be followed by a seminar discussion. After lunch each week, the group will visit a gallery or institution of relevance to the week's topic. Full details can be found here

The course is open to postgraduates, academics and all who are interested in using visual material for historical research purposes.