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How to Do Local History

Friday, 1 November 2013 10:55am

A guide for historians and clients

Gavin McLean

how_to_do_local_historyThe book

Thinking of writing a history? Or commissioning one?

Local historians, church and institutional historians, genealogists, thesis-writers and the people who commission them will welcome How To Do Local History. It is a brief and lively introduction to historical research, writing and publishing by a leading historian.

This book explains how to use books and archives, and is full of practical tips on 'reading' the landscape, on oral history and on using illustrations effectively. The last chapter takes historians and their clients through the intricacies of internet and conventional publishing, using case studies of real books to explain terminology, scheduling, design, costing and selling.

The author

GAVIN McLEAN is Senior Historian for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. His many books include The Governors and the co-edited Frontier of Dreams. He has written several local histories and in 2006 edited Oamaru 1878: A Colonial Town and, with Kynan Gentry, Heartlands: New Zealand Historians Write About Places Where History Happened.


'A worthy successor to the last definitive guide. Local historians, those organisations who may be employing someone to write history, and all who are contemplating researching, writing or publishing local history should have access to this book.' – NZ Legacy, August 2007

'a "hands on" book with practical advice ... a most useful and helpful publication' – Marlborough Express

'This is the one book that will be a must-have for all budding writers of local and family histories who want to bring a professional authenticity to their work. Recommended.' – Otago Daily Times

Publication details

Paperback, 96 pages, b&w illustrations, ISBN 978 1 877372 41 4, $24.95
Out of print