HistorySmiths : professional editing research historical services Melbourne

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What is History?

History is the story of human endeavour.

The best story is usually a narrative that combines chronological elements with thematic reflection and analysis, to create a bridge to and through the past for the reader in the present.

HistorySmiths regards the use of oral history as central to successful story telling, especially when writing about more recent history, say the last 50 years. We also regard it as important to collaborate with a community engaged in historical endeavour.

There are many different perspectives about history and historical events. The historian must read, research, listen, sift, think, analyse then write, taking into account these different perspectives.

Writing history is also about finding a narrative thread through an institution’s past, which consists of parallel stories that can only be told one at a time.

Writing history is also about making decisions: what to leave in, leave out, what else to read, who else to speak to, how to make sense of difficult material, how to fill in the gaps.

And writing history is about being sensitive to the past and its creators, while at the same time wanting to bring it alive on the page for the future.