Written sources in history

Written sources in history

1. How do written historical sources help historians in recreating the past?

Among historical sources, the most important are the written ones. After all, only with the advent of writing, people were able to talk in detail about what, where, when and how it happened. Written sources are texts on paper or other materials. Annals, memoirs, letters, travelers’ diaries, laws, petitions, petitions, contracts, and at a later time periodical press – all these documents are an invaluable source for exploring the past. However, in order to recreate the current course of events, historians should select from important source texts important information, compare it with what is already known. This is a hard work, requiring time and versatile knowledge.

2. What are archives?


storage and ordering of written monuments of history and culture is entrusted to special institutions, which are called Archives. There were archives with the origin of writing. Now all institutions, organizations, often private individuals – scientists, writers, public figures – have their own archives.

For modern archives, special rooms are built with narrow windows that do not allow direct sunlight: from sunlight the background and typographic paint burn out, shed, and the paper turns yellow and deteriorates. Damage to documents and polluted air, so in the archives it is cleaned with special filters. In order to keep the documents better, they are placed in tightly closed boxes and placed on shelves. In large archives, the total length of shelves reaches tens of kilometers. The most valuable documents are photographed on a film: thin films with very small kadriks are obtained – microfilms. They are stored separately from the documents in case the original is damaged or lost.

The richest in Ukraine are the repositories of documents of the Central State Historical Archives in Kiev and Lviv. Documents are carefully researched by scientists and based on their testimonies they write scientific works.

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Written sources in history