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Grade 9 - Women's History: Home

Viewing the Role of Women in History

Historical Lenses

For knowledge isn’t just something we acquire; it’s something we are or hope to become. Knowledge is what constitutes our relationship to ourselves and to our world, for it is the lens through which we view ourselves and our world. Change the lens and you change both the view and the viewer. This principle is what makes knowledge at once so frightening and so liberating, so painful and so utterly, utterly joyful.

-Lois Tyson, 1999

Problems with Historical Interpretation

The interpretation. The quality of historical research depends on the skills the historian has in deciphering and interpreting documents and objects. Historians read documents in their original languages, and routinely master skills from other disciplines, ranging from art history and archaeology to statistics and economics. They also may extract statistical information from original records and translate it into a form that computers can read and analyze.

Historians must be aware of bias (prejudice), both in the evidence and in themselves. The cruder forms of bias, such as stereotyping and hostility toward particular groups, are fairly easy to detect. But historians also try to recognize the deep assumptions that the people who produced documents and other historical sources may have made about what events were significant, who was important enough to notice, and which aspects of life were worth recording. Historians must likewise be aware of such assumptions in themselves and in fellow historians. Whole groups of people and their lives, accomplishments, point of view, and voices can be effectively "erased" from history if historians do not see them as historically significant.

Partner, Nancy F. "History." World Book Student. World Book, 2015. Web. 12 Apr. 2015. 

Research Databases

Lens Definitions

What do you see?

Why does Historiography matter?

Historical Thinking

Why study Historiography?