Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


Doing History

The mission of episodes in the Doing History: To the Revolution series is to ask not just “what is the history of the American Revolution?” but “what are the histories of the American Revolution?”

Episodes in this series will air beginning in September 2017.

The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It’s produced by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Be sure to check out Doing History season 1, Doing History: How Historians Work.

Doing History Session 1 Doing History Session 1

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Episode 88: Michael McDonnell, The History of History Writing

Historians rely on secondary historical sources almost as much as they rely on primary historical sources.

But what are secondary historical sources and how do they help historians know what they know about the past?

Michael McDonnell, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Sydney, guides us through how he used secondary historical sources to investigate the pivotal role Native Americans played in the history of the Great Lakes region and early North America.

Episodes and supplemental content available on

Supporting this series helps to meet one of the chief aims of the Lapidus Initiative: to make more transparent the intensive and collaborative processes of developing and producing high-quality scholarship. It also offers us a new and exciting opportunity for public outreach.