Learning from the past course image: Young woman reviewing images in a library.

August 17, 2018, by Sarah Stubbings

How does the past explain the present?

  • Why does the past matter today?
  • What is the significance of photographs as historical artefacts?
  • How does the language of history determine how we view our world?

Do you want to find out the answers to these historical questions and more? Then Learning from the Past: A Guide for the Curious Researcher is the right course for you.

In this free online course you will learn how to understand the past to explain the present. Furthermore, you will develop the skills to discover and critically analyse the records of the past. As the course progresses you will get to know the amazing sources and resources of the British Library. In the first week of the course you will look at written texts and how language evolves. In Week 2, you focus on image and artefacts, while Week 3 lets you explore other types of historical material such as sound and digital sources.

This collaborative course was co-created with academics at the University of Birmingham and experts from the British Library. You will learn with leading academics from the University Of Nottingham. So, Maiken Umbach is Professor of Modern History and Dr Dean Blackburn is a lecturer in modern history.  Finally, Ian Cooke of the British Library will guide you through the hidden treasures of their collections. Ian is Head of Contemporary British Publications at the Library. This team is here to help you develop your own research skills, and form your own, independent judgments about the past and the present.

This three-week course starts on Monday 3 September 2018.

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