All at Sea: Research Skills for Maritime History

HMS Sussex reading ship's paper, image courtesy of Frank Gregory

This module equips students with the key research skills to succeed as maritime historians. It will provide students with an understanding of current debates about approaches, theories and methodologies in maritime history. Students will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working with maritime archives and resources held as part of the University of Plymouth’s library collections and in our local partners such as the Box and other regional archives. 

The city of Plymouth’s wider maritime and naval heritage will provide the backdrop for this module as we go out and about in the city to consider how maritime history survives and is remembered. We will visit well known sites such as the Barbican, the Hoe, Royal William Yard, Britannia Royal Naval College and lesser known areas of maritime interest such as Royal Naval Hospital burial ground.

Indicative topics

  • Week 1: Introduction to maritime history research skills and archives
  • Week 2: National Archives
  • Week 3: Local Archives
  • Week 4: Digital Archives
  • Week 5: Reading Week
  • Week 6: Film and Visual Archival Sources
  • Week 7: Specialist Archives
  • Week 8: Memorialising Maritime History
  • Week 9: Preserving Maritime History – Part I Plymouth
  • Week 10: Preserving Maritime History – Part II National Debates
  • Week 11: Databases and Visualising Maritime History
  • Week 12: Oral History
  • Week 13: Conference and Presentations