The Potential Use of Archival Research

Published: 2017-10-27 13:23:18
1208 words
4 pages
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Wesleyan University
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Archival research has great importance and potential to the writing of dissertation because of the authenticity that the process has, given that the information it has is mostly first hand. This document looks at the potential that archival research has as far as the writing of dissertation is concerned. It, therefore, breaks down the content of discussion as follows. Firstly, the introduction of the archival research where the concept has been given a broad look. Secondly, the information on the concept about the writing of dissertation projects of scholars. In this section, the information about the concept has been discussed including its definition. Thirdly, it looks at the potentials that are in the usage of archival research that have been identified as three in this document as follows: the archival research as a source of information, as an outreach and finally as mediation. This section has provided the core purpose of the paper by discussing the potential that the concept has on writing of a dissertation. The outcome of the information discussed gives an implication that the role and potential that the archival research has in writing dissertation is huge.    


Research work has long been treasured all over the world because of the simple reason that it adds legitimate knowledge to people. It is through research work that we get to prove wrong from right things and happenings in the world hence we get to understand various issues and consequently build our knowledge (Church et al. 2014). The same importance as in the research work is reflected in the dissertations that scholars have to write at one point in the higher levels of learning. It is thorough archival research that the dissertations are easily compiled to bring about the targeted research work. The information that is found using archival records is more authentic because they contain the original information of the event or phenomena that are under research.     

Archival Research

The suggestion of the name tells it all about the archival research as being information that has been documented either in print or digital form for referral in future (Church et al. 2014). What the information as earlier said is more reliable given that it was first stored in its form by the first people who came across the information and cared to preserve it for future generation. For example in the documentation by Elden Dale Golden, the information dates back to 1940’s, a period when the print media was still in its young ages and was spreading first (Golden n.d). Despite this, the information provided by the opera music in some parts of the world have been given clear details as if they were documented some few decades back when technology had taken a toll. The digitization of the information as well has made the information to be accessible to virtually all the regions of the world.     

Potentials of Archival Research to Dissertation

The research agenda for the users and use of archives need to be the goal of professionalism in different fields Hence the main aim of the archival research has to be to systematically the relationship between the way information is provided and its use (Dowler n.d). The relationship once determined can assist in the definition of archival practices. The following are some of the potential use of archival research in dissertations: the information purpose of archival research, the outreach purpose, and the mediation.

1. Archives of Information

A research project that examines unconfirmed impression needs archival research for authenticity. The reason for this lies in the fact that such researches need information that has to satisfy the questions that are asked by the researcher regardless of the form and the source of the information. According to Cameron (2014), the trend that has been of scholars focusing on information without considering the source or the material, from which the information in question comes from, has been reinforced with growing similarity between archives and materials in libraries. Archivists and libraries, as a result, have come to see the distinction between the two as negligible. This leaves one simple function of the two combined as a source of information for research work as well as a dissertation (Dowler n.d).  

2. The Archival Research as an Outreach for Dissertation

The use of archival records in the dissertation writing forms the ultimate purpose of administration and identification of records with enduring value (Cameron 2014). This implies that the use of archival research justifies the outreach of the usage as it enables the archivists to gain support and control of archival programs. The reason behind this is that archival records have been prepared and cataloged to contribute to the national databases hence qualify the notion that the research is a form of outreach to many people through the databases. This is evident in the document by Eden Dale having documented the happenings in the mid 20th century as far as the opera is concerned (Golden n.d).

3. Mediation Role of Archival Research

The archival research to the dissertation papers acts as a mediation factor between the users of the information and the information or its source. The aspect of mediation of the archival research has the impact of satisfying the zeal of scholars and researches who are trying to get information for use in the writing of a dissertation (Dowler n.d). Personal intervention, therefore, is assisted by the information provided through archival research. About the document by Elden Dale, the information that has been provided that originated from archival sources have given the generation that followed to the present and even the future the picture of what happened (Golden n.d). The story of opera music and how it got to rise through the integration of different people and foundations like the Rockefeller to aid its rise and establishment. This can be seen as a gesture of mediation between the audience of the information provide in the document.      


The discussion has looked into the importance and the potential that the archival research has on the writing of dissertation papers. Through the tackling of this, the paper has first looked at the concept of archival research by definition. Then the potential that the concept has as far as the writing of dissertation papers is concerned. Some of the importance and potentials that have been found to be true of archival research are being part of the information, as an outreach tool and finally as mediation tool between the period of the information and the audience of the information.  What has come out of the whole discussion is that the role that the archival research has on the writing of dissertation is very important and therefore indispensable.  


Cameron, L. J. (2014). Participation, archival activism and learning to learn.Journal of Historical Geography, 46, 99-101.

Church, B. K., Jenkins, J. G., McCracken, S. A., Roush, P. B., & Stanley, J. D. (2014). Auditor independence in fact: Research, regulatory, and practice implications drawn from experimental and archival research. Accounting Horizons, 29(1), 217-238.

Dowler, L. The Role of Use in Defining Archival Practice and Principles: A Research Agenda for the Availability and Use of Records. Retrieved 29 September 2016


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