This book offers students guidance in approaching documentary research. McCulloch takes account of the implications of contemporary legal, ethical, and technological changes for documentary research and promotes documentary research as a valid research strategy in education and the social sciences. He examines international comparisons in the uses of documentary research, including the role of cultural and political contexts in allowing or denying access to records and the conditions imposed upon their uses.
The chapters explore a wide range of documentary source material that are available for researchers in the social sciences, for example: policy reports, autobiographies, diaries, committee papers, correspondence, school magazines, textbooks, log books, newspapers, local registers, and visual sources such as photographs and paintings. The book emphasises new approaches to the study of such sources, and ways in which they may be studied in combination or with different research strategies such as interviews, surveys, and questionnaires.