The 2020/21 academic year is going to be different. Higher education has a number of COVID-19 related issues to engage with. A shout out to all the people involved in making the academic year start and function…
This blog post shares some points for students or staff about ‘how to’ better utilise documentary sources, as the current COVID-19 restrictions will mean more desk based and remote research projects. The focus of my post is specifically on documentary sources related to sport. I’ve grouped together some points and resources that offer an insight into how to successfully approach documentary sources and analysis.
Overview of documentary sources
Rather than regurgitate my PhD methodology chapter, here are some slides with key points on and suggestions to further resources:
Bryman, A (2016) Social Research Methods. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Freely accessible online resources – including a student researcher’s toolkit, powerpoint slides for staff, and seminar outlines for Chapter 23: Documents as sources of data.
Macdonald, K (2008) ‘Using Documentary Analysis’ in Researching Social Life, edited by N. Gilbert. London, Sage.
Scott, J (1990) A matter of record: documentary sources in social research, Polity Press, Cambridge.
Examples of sport documentary sources
|Type of documentary source||Source||Detail||Availability||Links (click for external pages)|
|Personal documents||British Library – Oral histories of sport collection||Over 300 oral history interviews documenting the lives and careers of British sports people, the collection includes athletes, coaches, teachers, and those who witnessed historic sporting events.||Online and free to access||Collection information|
|Visual objects||International Olympic Committee – Olympic art posters|
Olympic World Library
|The posters produced for the Olympic Games are one of the facets of their visual identity. Making use of all styles and techniques, they never cease to surprise and evolve. Through this document you can obtain an overview of the various posters produced by the Organising Committees for each edition of the Games.||Online and free to access||Collection – Blog post|
Summer Games document
Winter Games document
|Official documents deriving from the state||UK Parliament |
House of Commons Select Committee, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
House of Commons Library
|Inquiries – including reports and government responses; oral evidence transcripts; written evidence.|
Research and resources – including specifically related to the DCMS
|Online and free to access||E.g. Inquiry Impact of Covid-19 on DCMS sectors |
E.g. Research Briefing – Physical education, physical activity and sport in schools
|Official documents deriving from private sources||Sports Think Tank||A research library of key reports on the sports and physical activity sector from a variety of sources.||Online and free to access||Repository overview|
|Mass media outputs||British Newspaper Archive||Launched in 2011, we have now scanned millions of pages of historical newspapers and made them available online for the first time ever. You can now search hundreds of millions of stories by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch your results appear in an instant.||Available online and accessible via University Library database subscriptions||Archive overview|
|Virtual outputs||The National Archives – UK Government Web Archive||The National Archives carries out web archiving to preserve the websites and some social media accounts of central government, including websites, social media, Twitter, video, Flickr archives.||Online and free to access||E.g. Sport England webpages since 2004|
N.B University libraries will have a search engine of the databases and/or collections they own or subscribe to. It will have all the access details, e.g. image here and the De Montfort University A-Z Databases, they have full access to the British Library Newspapers archive and the link to the Gale page.
I hope this blog post is of use to students and staff. I am happy to offer further advice, further links to documentary sources, or give a guest lecture on this aspect of research. Get in contact!
Good luck for the upcoming academic year in the UK everyone. And happy documentary sourcin’