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Doing Archival Research in Political Science By Scott A. Frisch, Douglas B. Harris, ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Doing Archival Research in Political Science

Introduction

Taking the Road Less Traveled

Scott A. Frisch, Douglas B. Harris, Sean Q Kelly, and David C. W. Parker

In the discipline of history, archival research is common. In political science, it is not. Students majoring in history, and certainly history graduate students, are exposed to the practice, and academic historians routinely use archival sources in their research. This is not the case for political science students or scholars. In fact, in political science, the term archive is most often preceded by the word data, indicating an electronic repository of (usually) quantitative data.

This book is aimed at political scientists. We simultaneously intend to advocate for as well as to illustrate and instruct the “how to” of archival research. In particular, we hope to reach graduate students in political science who, lacking the pressures of the tenure track, have a unique