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NAS Part III Documentary Research
Research and Information Technology module 
Old Library
Documentary Research
Aims:  
This course will examine the informational needs of the maritime archaeologist, both in  researching sites prior to field investigations, and evaluating fieldwork results against existing data.  The course will take the form of a process of discovery, using the metaphor of an archaeological dig.  As “indoor archaeologists,” we will penetrate the surface of the world of information, developing key techniques for finding not only data, but pattern and meaning.
The objective of this one-day course is to introduce the investigator to the tools and methods of documentary research. Sources from web-based databases to academic libraries to archival collections will be used to create a comprehensive picture of the archival past.
 
Course Outline:
This course will examine the informational needs of the maritime archaeologist, both in researching sites prior to field investigations, and evaluating fieldwork results against existing documentation.  Illustrative case histories and in-class exercises will largely be drawn from the Great Lakes context, but will illustrate general principles and techniques.
This course will use the format of an archaeological dig:  as “indoor archaeologists,” we will move to progressively deeper, but more rewarding challenges.
Cases, while drawn from Great Lakes maritime history, will illustrate general principles and techniques.  In-class exercises will simulate the research environment, process, and results.
 
Teaching Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course you will be familiar with basic strategies, skills, and resources for conducting documentary research on maritime sites.  You will be able to conduct the “literature search” phase essential to any successful investigation, and produce results in consultation with information professionals.
 
Cost and Credits:
A maximum of 6 credit points will be available in the Research and Information Technology module. The cost for the course is $180. Part III courses are open to everyone; however credit points will only be awarded to those who have completed the NAS Part I Course.
 
Suggested Readings:
A course pack of research resources, examples and exercises will be distributed at the beginning of class.  Additional resources will be posted on the NAS-NMC website.
 
Course Instructor: Dan Harrison