Carrying out research for your Research project will be something new to most Leaving Certificate History students. It is a skill that you will learn during the process of researching and writing the Project.
Finding sources for your research project can be difficult but there are different avenues that you can explore in an effort to find the information and evidence that you will need.
Before outlining where you might find resources let’s look at what you should do with the information you find.
1. It is important that you record the author, title, year of publication and page number of whatever book or article you use. There is a template that you can use in the Student Guide for this. Print off a few copies and fill in the details for each book or article that you review.
2. If you are using a website you should also use the template in the Student Guide making sure you record the date that you access the website. Check how authentic the website article is (does it contain references) and if in doubt ask your teacher for advice.
You would be surprised what you might find in your school library. Check here first.
See what books are available in your local library. The staff in your local library are very helpful and if the book you want isn’t available in your local library the staff may be able to borrow it from a different library for you.
Local Studies Centre
Most libraries now have a Local Studies Centre. If you are doing a local history topic you may find the Local Studies Centre will have information. Many Local Studies Centres now have website with lots of information online. This is the link for the Clare Local Studies Centre
Wikipedia is not accepted as a source for history projects – however it can give you a general idea of a topic and there maybe links at the bottom of the Wikipedia page that might be useful
You can search Google Books to see if your topic has been included in a book or part of a book. Many books on Google Books allow you to view part or all of a book. When you search for your topic click on the link on the left hand panel that says ‘preview and full view’ – this will only search books you can read.
As with normal books you will need to record all the details of the book in the template as if it were a paper copy of the book.
History Ireland is a history magazine that is published every two months. The History Ireland website has an archive of previously published magazines that allows you to search for topics. Again use the template in the Student Guide to record the information you need.
Irish Times Archive
You can search digitised copies of the Irish Times from 1859 up until the present day. The archive is accessible through your school or your local library. You can search for articles related to your topic.
Local Historical Societies
There are many Local Historical Societies around the country that publish annual journals containing articles about different local history topics. Many of these journals are available on the internet. You can find a link to local journals in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary here
You can find information about local Archaeologial and Historical Societies around the country here -
The Irish Labour History Society produces a yearly Journal entitled “Saothar”. The ILHS are currently providing access to older copies of Saothar on their website -
Irish Labour History Society