Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


Doing History

What is the history of the American Revolution? The answer is not simple.

While season 1 looked at how historians work, the mission of season 2, Doing History: To the Revolution, is to ask how different historians interpret the events and people at the center of the American Revolution and to help listeners see the connections—and possible disconnects—between the different approaches.

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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.

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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.