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Research Methodologies Guide

A collection of resources describing research methods in the social sciences and the humanities

Documentary Research

According to Scott & Marshall (2015), Documentary Research is

"Research that uses personal and official documents as a source material. Documents... may include such things as newspapers, diaries, stamps, directories, handbills, maps, government statistical publications, photographs, paintings, gramophone records, tapes, and computer files."

Documentary research is often conducted by social scientists to assess a set of documents for historical or social value, or to create a larger narrative through the study of multiple documents surrounding an event or individual. 

Documentary research is often related to Content Analysis research methodologies. 

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