News Item 211

12-May-12 - Cambria Press New Publication: Doing Archival Research in Political Science is now available! Meet the editors at the 2012 ACSC conference!

This first-of-its-kind book—traversing political science and library and information science—challenges political scientists’ reliance on “easy data” promising in return “better data.” The editors propose that the archival record is replete with data that are often superior to current, available public data, both quantitative and qualitative. Substantive chapters in this book illustrate how archival data improve understanding across the array of subfields in American politics. It also challenges archivists to rethink their collections through the prism of political science.

Doing Archival Research in Political Science holds tremendous cross-disciplinary appeal. Students and faculty in political science are exposed to a fertile but underutilized source of empirical data. Political scientists will benefit from the methodological perspectives, the practical advice about doing archival work, and the concrete examples of archives-based research across the subfields in American politics (e.g., congressional studies, presidential studies, public opinion, national security, interest groups, and public policy).

The book has won praise from leading experts, including C. Lawrence Evans, Newton Family Professor of Government at the College of William and Mary, who states that this is “simply the best treatment that we have of the practical logistics of conducting archival research about the national legislature. I recommend it highly!".

Students and faculty in library and archival studies will benefit greatly from the candid discussion of the unique theoretical and methodological concerns inherent in political science, improving their ability to reach out and promote their collections to political scientists. Examples of archives-based political science research will help library faculty better understand how their collections are being utilized by users.

Learn more about the book and the editors’ session on their book at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress at the Cambria Press blog post about this!

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