Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Evidence Explained

I recently purchased a copy of the book Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyperspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Evidence Explained, simply put, is the definitive guide to the citation and analysis of historical sources. The first two chapters are absolutely a must-read in their entirety. The first deals with the essentials of analyzing evidence including a thorough discussion of classes of evidence and sources and various formats of available records. The second chapter deals with the fundamentals of citation and serves as an instructive foundation for the material found in the remainder of this 885-page volume.

Each chapter of the book begins with an introductory QuickCheck Model section where citation examples for each source discussed in the chapter are illustrated. The citation examples show the source list entry, the first (full) reference note and the subsequent (short) note for each of the sources discussed in the chapter. After each chapter’s QuickCheck Model section, additional detailed information is found about the sources being discussed within the chapter.

I am simply amazed at the diverse types of sources covered in this volume. The subtitle of this book is most certainly appropriate.

For the determined historical researcher, genealogist or writer, this is without doubt one volume that will not collect dust on the bookshelf. I recommend this book be held close at hand as it is an excellent resource and tool you will be coming back to, time and time again.


Miriam Robbins said...

I love my copy and use it weekly, sometimes daily!

Bob Franks said...

Miriam, I've already been polishing up some endnotes on pending articles I've written with the help of Evidence Explained. The book is definitely a good investment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, got my copy last year and gave as gifts, everyone loves them