For centuries, historians have delved into significant phases of human activity and tried to study its influences on life. Social, political, ethnic and cultural events of the past have been surfaced time and again through narratives, archaeological discoveries, archival documents and historical evidences.
Historians are concerned with the causes and effects of past events. Historians study and consider many different views of events to understand the past more completely. They write up the results of their work in papers to be published in journals and books. Their works are then reviewed by other historians, who in turn offer their own interpretations. Eventually this process establishes the truth of an event. This helps people learn, see their world more clearly, and advance.
Historians sometimes act as consultants. They may advise individuals, institutions, or organizations about areas of historical interest. For example, they may help a writer understand the events of a specific time. Historians may also review books and exhibits put together by other historians or historical societies. They verify that the information presented is accurate.
Historians – The tasks
- Historians gather, interpret and evaluate the records of the past
- They describe and analyse past events, institutions and people using literary skill and scientific methods
- Teaching and research
They may specialise in archaeology, museology, mass communications, numismatics, archives, international relations, classical and foreign languages
Archaeologists – The tasks
- Study architectural relics, old monuments, inscriptions, and excavation sites.
They identify the time of an event, study lifestyle and relevant details to piece together information, which later becomes historical evidence.
- They establish the relevance of such evidence; reconstruct the events of a particular period.
Specialists work as numismatists and epigraphists. The former study old coins while the latter study inscriptions
Archivists– The tasks
- Studying documents for finding historical evidence
- Screening, cataloguing and preserving relevant archives
Maintaining public and administrative records for reference according to historical significance and value. These items may be historical documents, corporation records works of art, stamp collections, mineral collections, maps, movies, medical and scientific instruments, plants, animals, buildings, battle equipment etc. The collection may be of special interest to children, hobbyists, scientists, researchers, corporations, inhabitants of a specific locality, ethnic groups or of interest to public at large.
- To determine the historical value of the information gathered.
They determine its exhibit value, form of storage (whether it be original, microfilm, microfiche, magnetic tape) where it should be exhibited.
Archivists serve in advisory and research capacity for scientific works, journalistic endeavours and agencies and institutions. They often specialise in discipline related to political, economic, social and military history of a period.
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