43 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. Harvard a guy by the name of um Alfred Bushnell Hart uh Well Albert sorry Albert I always get Alfred 00:02:31 and Albert wrong um wrote a five volume set of primary sources and he was one of the first um American historians that was actually um trained in Germany by Prof you know 00:02:43 in this new kind of professional history that that they began doing at about that time
    1. This is a doctrine so practically important that we could have wismore than two pages of the book had been devoted to note-takiand other aspects of the " Plan and Arrangement of CollectionsContrariw

      In the 1923 short notices section of the journal History, one of the editors remarked in a short review of "The Mechanical Processes of the Historian" that they wished that Charles Johnson had spent more than two pages of the book on note taking and "other aspects of the 'Plan and Arrangement of Collections'" as the zettelkasten "is a doctrine so practically important" to historians.

    2. T., T. F., A. F. P., E. R. A., H. E. E., R. C., E. L. W., F. J. C. H., and E. J. C. “Short Notices.” History 8, no. 31 (1923): 231–37.

  2. Oct 2022
    1. Pomeroy, Earl. “Frederic L. Paxson and His Approach to History.” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 39, no. 4 (1953): 673–92. https://doi.org/10.2307/1895394

      read on 2022-10-30 - 10-31

    2. Thus Paxson was not content to limit historians to the immediateand the ascertainable. Historical truth must appear through some-thing short of scientific method, and in something other than scien-tific form, linked and geared to the unassimilable mass of facts.There was no standard technique suited to all persons and purposes,in note-taking or in composition. "The ordinary methods of his-torical narrative are ineffective before a theme that is in its essen-tials descriptive," he wrote of Archer B. Hulbert's Forty- Niners(1931) in 1932. "In some respects the story of the trails can notbe told until it is thrown into the form of epic poetry, or comes un-der the hand of the historical novelist." 42

      This statement makes it appear as if Paxson was aware of the movement in the late 1800s of the attempt to make history a more scientific endeavor by writers like Bernheim, Langlois/Seignobos, and others, but that Pomeroy is less so.

      How scientific can history be as an area of study? There is the descriptive from which we might draw conclusions, but how much can we know when there are not only so many potential variables, but we generally lack the ability to design and run discrete experiments on history itself?

      Recall Paxson's earlier comment that "in history you cannot prove an inference". https://hypothes.is/a/LIWSoFlLEe2zUtvMoEr0nQ

      Had enough time elapsed up to this writing in 1953, that the ideal of a scientific history from the late 1800s had been borne out not to be accomplished?

    3. I am not much like Turner ; but I believe that I am like him in that Iam aware that in history you cannot prove an inference. You cannotprove causation, much as you crave to do it. You may present sequencesof events, whose relationship suggests a link-up of cause and consequence ;

      you may carry on the inquiry for a lifetime without discovering other events inconsistent with the hypothesis which has caught your eye. But you can never get beyond a circumstantial case. . . .<br /> "A Footnote to the Safety-Valve," August 15, 1940, Paxson Papers (University of California Library, Berkeley)

    4. Paxson wrote several unusually sharp reviews of books by Mc-Master, Rhodes, and Ellis P. Oberholtzer, historians whose methodshave been compared with his own

      Examples of other historians who likely had a zettelkasten method of work.

      Rhodes' method is tangentially mentioned by Earle Wilbur Dow as being "notebooks of the old type". https://hypothes.is/a/PuFGWCRMEe2bnavsYc44cg

    5. the writer of "scissors and paste history" ;

      One cannot excerpt their way into knowledge, simply cutting and pasting one's way through life is useless. Your notes may temporarily serve you, but unless you apply judgement and reason to them to create something new, they will remain a scrapheap for future generations who will gain no wisdom or use from your efforts.

      relate to: notes about notes being only useful to their creator

    6. The Verdict of History," he scrawled on anote : "There is none — . . . Apart from verif of facts There is noverdict only onesided testimony." "

      Note, n.d. (probably made during the 1920's), unsorted, Paxson File.

    7. He felt that the Beards had gonetoo far in making their facts "generally incidental to some conclu-sion that has pre-determined their selection and arrangement." 1

      One can easily leave out bits of evidence or cherry pick evidence to arrive at a given a priori conclusion. The truest thinker or historian will use the fullest context of evidence available at the time to arrive at their conclusion.

      Naturally, additional evidence and emergent effects as history unfolds may change some of these conclusions over time.

    8. "Say what one may of historical philos-ophy," he wrote in 1926, "history is a matter of facts; and theestablishment of facts, desiccated as they may be, is the chief func-tion of the genuine historian."

      Review of John B. Black, The Art of History; A Study of Four Great His- torians of the Eighteenth Century (New York, 1926), New York Herald Tribune Books, December 12, 1926, p. 12.

    9. Hethus followed, over a wider range of data than any one man couldhope to use fully, the advice that he sometimes gave in reviews,that a historian should work fully through the background material.

      Frederic L. Paxson frequently advised that a historian should work fully through the background material.

    1. It is possible this Miscellany collection was assembled by Schutz as part of his own research as an historian, as well as the letters and documents collected as autographs for his interest as a collector;


      Is it possible that this miscellany collection is of a zettelkasten nature?

      Found via a search of the Huntington Library for Frederic L. Paxson's zettelkasten

    1. Preceding anyspecific historiographical method, the Zettelkasten provides the space inwhich potential constellations between these things can appear concretely,a space to play with connections as they have been formed by historic pre-decessors or might be formed in the present.

      relationship with zettelkasten in the history of historical methods?

    1. It was Ranke, too, who set the historian’s task: to find out wie eseigentlich gewesen ist, what really happened, or, literally, how itreally was. His goal is one that will remain forever just beyond ourgrasp for reasons I explained in a “Note on Sources” in The Guns ofAugust (a paragraph that no one ever reads but I think is the bestthing in the book). Summarized, the reasons are that we who writeabout the past were not there. We can never be certain that we haverecaptured it as it really was. But the least we can do is to stay withinthe evidence.
    2. Tuchman, Barbara W. Practicing History. Ballantine, 1982.

    1. Deutsch wrote often of history’s ‘scientific’ nature and inductive approach, leading toan almost positivistic method. ‘From individual facts’, he wrote, ‘one ascends to prin-ciples’, continuing: ‘Facts have to be arranged in a systematic manner . . . First we mustknow, and afterward we may reason’. This ‘systematic’ arrangement, he believed, sepa-rated the historian from the mere annalist or chronicler (Deutsch, 1900b: 166).

      This scientific viewpoint of history was not unique to the time and can be seen ensconced in popular books on historical method of the time, including Bernheim and Langlois/Seignobos.

    1. It may seem a curious relic of positivistic history, but closer examination allows us to interrogate the materiality of scholarly labor.

      Given the time period (1859-1921), what was the potential influence, if any, on Deutsch and his methods by historical methods writers and the evolution of the science of history by Ernst Bernheim or Seignobos/Langlois from that same period?

    1. Leopold von Ranke (German: [fɔn ˈʁaŋkə]; 21 December 1795 – 23 May 1886) was a German historian and a founder of modern source-based history.[3][4] According to Caroline Hoefferle, "Ranke was probably the most important historian to shape [the] historical profession as it emerged in Europe and the United States in the late 19th century".[5] He was able to implement the seminar teaching method in his classroom and focused on archival research and the analysis of historical documents. Building on the methods of the Göttingen School of History,[6] he was the first to establish a historical seminar. Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources (empiricism), an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics (Außenpolitik). Ranke also had a great influence on Western historiography. He was ennobled in 1865, with the addition of a "von" to his name.
  3. Sep 2022
    1. Heyde, Johannes Erich. Technik des wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens. (Sektion 1.2 Die Kartei) Junker und Dünnhaupt, 1931.

      (Unknown translation from German into English. v1 TK)

      The overall title of the work (in English: Technique of Scientific Work) calls immediately to mind the tradition of note taking growing out of the scientific historical methods work of Bernheim and Langlois/Seignobos and even more specifically the description of note taking by Beatrice Webb (1926) who explicitly used the phrase "recipe for scientific note-taking".

      see: https://hypothes.is/a/BFWG2Ae1Ee2W1HM7oNTlYg

      first reading: 2022-08-23 second reading: 2022-09-22

    1. The book's controversial assertions that the life of Jesus should be written like the life of any historic person, and that the Bible could and should be subject to the same critical scrutiny as other historical documents caused controversy[19] and enraged many Christians,[20][21][22][23] and Jews because of its depiction of Judaism as foolish and absurdly illogical and for its insistence that Jesus and Christianity were superior.[17]

      Ernest Renan argued in Life of Jesus that Jesus should be studied and written about like any other historic person or process. His life and the history and writings around it should be open to critical scrutiny just like any other biography or autobiography.

  4. Aug 2022
    1. Dutcher, George Matthew. “Directions and Suggestions for the Writing of Essays or Theses in History.” Historical Outlook 22, no. 7 (November 1, 1931): 329–38. https://doi.org/10.1080/21552983.1931.10114595

    2. In Italian,however, note the different practice: quattrocento, for es-ample, means the century from 1 January 1400 to 31 Decem-ber 1499.
    3. Mr. York Powell, lateregius professor of modern histor a t Oxford, said: “Theformation and expression of ethicarjudgments . . . is nota thing within the historian’s province.”
    4. Irony is a dangerous literary device which should beused only with the greatest caution.
    5. works inEnglish are convenient introductions to the prohems andmethods of historical research: Charles V. Langlois andCharles Seignobos, Introduction to the rludy of history, NewYork, 1898; John M. Vincent, Historical research, an outlineof theory and practice, New York, 1911; and, to a morelimited extent, Fred M. Fling, Writing of history, an intro-duction to historical method, New Haven, 1920. The studentwho is specializing in history should early familiarize him-self with these volumes and then acquaint himself with otherworks in the field, notably Ernst Bernheim, hehrbuch derhistorwehen Methode und der Beschichtsplrilosophie, 6th ed.,Leipzig, 1908

      I'm curious, what, if any, detail Fling (1920) and Vincent (1911) provide on note taking processes?

    6. While it is a fundamental principle that workscontemporary with an event are presumably more authenticthan later ones, it should be borne in mind that the morerecent secondary works are frequently based on more ma-terials and present new interpretations.
  5. Jul 2022
    1. Professor Ernst Bernheim, of the University ofGreifswald, has worked through nearly all themodern works on historical method, and the fruitof his labours is an arrangement under appropriateheadings, most of them invented by himself, of agreat number of reflections and selected references.His Lehrhuch der historischen Methode^ (Leipzig, 1894,8vo) condenses, in the manner of German Lehrhiicher,the special literature of the subject of which ittreats.

      These French authors are specifically aware of Ernst Bernheim's 1894 text which also has sections on note taking methods. Should be interesting to see how this differs at least for the brief portion of Bernheim I read on the topic.

      Link to: - https://hyp.is/RJ-6-AekEe268sOEeQ79Yw

    2. The best work that has hitherto been published (in French) onhistorical method is a pamphlet by MM. Ch. and V. Mortet, LaScience de Vhistoire (Paris, 1894, 8vo), 88 pp., extracted from vol. xx.of the Grande Encyclopidie



    1. Bernheim, Ernst. Lehrbuch der historischen Methode und der Geschichtsphilosophie: mit Nachweis der wichtigsten Quellen und Hilfsmittel zum Studium der Geschichte. Leipzig : Duncker & Humblot, 1908. http://archive.org/details/lehrbuchderhist03berngoog.

      Title translation: Textbook of the historical method and the philosophy of history : with reference to the most important sources and aids for the study of history

      A copy of the original 1889 copy can be found at https://digital.ub.uni-leipzig.de/mirador/index.php

    2. Ein grofer Teil der Regestenarbeit wird neuerdings demForscher durch besondere Regestenwerke abgenommen, nament-lich auf dem Gebiet der mittelalterlichen Urkunden. Daf diesebevorzugt werden, hat zwei Griinde: erstens sind die Urkundenfur die Geschichte des Mittelalters gewissermafen als festesGerippe von besonderer Wichtigkeit; zweitens sind sie so ver.streut in ihren Fund- und Druckorten, da8 die Zusammen-stellung derselben, wie sie ftir jede Arbeit von neuem erforder-lich wire, immer von neuem die langwierigsten und mtthsamstenVorarbeiten n&tig machen wiirde. Es ist daher von griéStemNutzen, da8 diese Vorarbeiten ein fir allemal gemacht und demeinzelnen Forscher erspart werden.

      Ein großer Teil der Regestenarbeit wird neuerdings dem Forscher durch besondere Regestenwerke abgenommen, namentlich auf dem Gebiet der mittelalterlichen Urkunden. Daß diese bevorzugt werden, hat zwei Gründe: erstens sind die Urkunden fur die Geschichte des Mittelalters gewissermafen als festes Gerippe von besonderer Wichtigkeit; zweitens sind sie so verstreut in ihren Fund- und Druckorten, daß die Zusammenstellung derselben, wie sie ftir jede Arbeit von neuem erforderlich wire, immer von neuem die langwierigsten und mtthsamsten Vorarbeiten nötig machen würde. Es ist daher von größtem Nutzen, daß diese Vorarbeiten ein fir allemal gemacht und dem einzelnen Forscher erspart werden.

      Google translation:

      A large part of the regesta work has recently been relieved of the researcher by special regesta works, especially in the field of medieval documents. There are two reasons why these are preferred: first, the documents are of particular importance for the history of the Middle Ages as a solid skeleton; Secondly, they are so scattered in the places where they were found and printed that the compilation of them, as would be necessary for each new work, would again and again necessitate the most lengthy and laborious preparatory work. It is therefore of the greatest benefit that this preparatory work should be done once and for all and that the individual researcher be spared.

      While the contexts are mixed here between note taking and historical method, there is some useful advice here that while taking notes, one should do as much work upfront during the research phase of reading and writing, so that when it comes to the end of putting the final work together and editing, the writer can be spared the effort of reloading large amounts of data and context to create the final output.

    3. nennt man Regesten, Regesta, eine Ableitung von dem Verbumregerere, das schon bei Quintilian in der Bedeutung ,abschreiben,eintragen“ vorkommt. Spezielle Zusammenstellungen der Auf-enthaltsorte historischer Persinlichkeiten aus den Quellen nenntman Itinerare.

      Derartige geordnete Eintragungen historischer Materialien nennt man Regesten, Regesta, eine Ableitung von dem Verbum regerere, das schon bei Quintilian in der Bedeutung ,abschreiben, eintragen“ vorkommt. Spezielle Zusammenstellungen der Aufenthaltsorte historischer Persönlichkeiten aus den Quellen nennt man Itinerare. (p 556-557)

      Google translation:

      Such ordered entries of historical material are called regesta, regesta, a derivation of the verb regerere, which already occurs in Quintilian in the meaning "to copy, to enter". Special compilations of the whereabouts of historical figures from the sources are called itineraries.

      Regesta in this context are complete copies of ordered entries of historical material. One might also translate this as historical copies or entries.

      While Bernheim is talking about historical records and copies thereof in his discussion of regesta, he does bring up a useful point about manual note taking practice: one needn't completely copy the original context, just do enough work to create context for yourself so as not to be overburdened with excess material later. Some working in digital contexts may find it easy to simply copy and paste everything from an original document, but capturing just the useful synopsis may be enough, particularly when the original context can be readily revisited.

    4. 3. Regesten.Da wir gesehen haben, wieviel auf tibersichtliche Ordnungbei der Zusammenstellung des Materials ankommt, muff manauf die praktische Einrichtung seiner Materialiensammlung vonAnfang an bewufte Sorgfalt verwenden. Selbstverstindlichlassen sich keine, im einzelnen durchweg gtiltigen Regeln auf-stellen; aber wir kinnen uns doch tiber einige allgemeine Ge-sichtspunkte verstindigen. Nicht genug zu warnen ist vor einemregel- und ordnungslosen Anhiufen und Durcheinanderschreibender Materialien; denn die zueinander gehérigen Daten zusammen--gufinden erfordert dann ein stets erneutes Durchsehen des ganzenMaterials; auch ist es dann kaum miglich, neu hinzukommendeDaten an der gehirigen Stelle einzureihen. Bei irgend gréferenArbeiten muff man seine Aufzeichnungen auf einzelne loseBlatter machen, die leicht umzuordnen und denen ohne Unm-stinde Blatter mit neuen Daten einzuftigen sind. Macht mansachliche Kategorieen, so sind die zu einer Kategorie gehérigenBlatter in Umschligen oder besser noch in K&sten getrennt zuhalten; innerhalb derselben kann man chronologisch oder sach-lich alphabetisch nach gewissen Schlagwiértern ordnen.
      1. Regesten Da wir gesehen haben, wieviel auf tibersichtliche Ordnung bei der Zusammenstellung des Materials ankommt, muß man auf die praktische Einrichtung seiner Materialiensammlung von Anfang an bewußte Sorgfalt verwenden. Selbstverständlich lassen sich keine, im einzelnen durchweg gültigen Regeln aufstellen; aber wir können uns doch über einige allgemeine Gesichtspunkte verständigen. Nicht genug zu warnen ist vor einem regel- und ordnungslosen Anhäufen und Durcheinanderschreiben der Materialien; denn die zueinander gehörigen Daten zusammenzufinden erfordert dann ein stets erneutes Durchsehen des ganzen Materials; auch ist es dann kaum möglich, neu hinzukommende Daten an der gehörigen Stelle einzureihen. Bei irgend größeren Arbeiten muß man seine Aufzeichnungen auf einzelne lose Blätter machen, die leicht umzuordnen und denen ohne Umstände Blätter mit neuen Daten einzufügen sind. Macht man sachliche Kategorieen, so sind die zu einer Kategorie gehörigen Blätter in Umschlägen oder besser noch in Kästen getrennt zu halten; innerhalb derselben kann man chronologisch oder sachlich alphabetisch nach gewissen Schlagwörtern ordnen.

      Google translation:

      1. Regesture Since we have seen how much importance is placed on clear order in the gathering of material, conscious care must be exercised in the practical organization of one's collection of materials from the outset. It goes without saying that no rules that are consistently valid in detail can be set up; but we can still agree on some general points of view. There is not enough warning against a disorderly accumulation and jumble of materials; because to find the data that belong together then requires a constant re-examination of the entire material; it is also then hardly possible to line up newly added data at the appropriate place. In any large work one must make one's notes on separate loose sheets, which can easily be rearranged, and sheets of new data easily inserted. If you make factual categories, the sheets belonging to a category should be kept separate in covers or, better yet, in boxes; Within these, you can sort them chronologically or alphabetically according to certain keywords.

      In a pre-digital era, Ernst Bernheim warns against "a disorderly accumulation and jumble of materials" (machine translation from German) as it means that one must read through and re-examine all their collected materials to find or make sense of them again.

      In digital contexts, things are vaguely better as the result of better search through a corpus, but it's still better practice to have things with some additional level of order to prevent the creation of a "scrap heap".

      link to: - https://hyp.is/i9dwzIXrEeymFhtQxUbEYQ

      In 1889, Bernheim suggests making one's notes on separate loose sheets of paper so that they may be easily rearranged and new notes inserted. He suggested assigning notes to categories and keeping them separated, preferably in boxes. Then one might sort them in a variety of different ways, specifically highlighting both chronological and alphabetical order based on keywords.

      (This quote is from the 1903 edition, but presumably is similar or the same in 1889, but double check this before publishing.)

      Link this to the earlier section in which he suggested a variety of note orders for historical methods as well as for the potential creation of insight into one's work.

    5. Man sieht, die stoffliche Ordnung setzt bereits bestimmteGesichtspunkte voraus und ist daher durch die ,Auffassung“bedingt; allein bei tibersichtlicher Materialordnung werden wirauch umgekehrt oft genug durch sich anhtufende Daten einergewissen von uns anfangs nicht erwarteten Art auf ganz neueGesichtspunkte unseres Themas aufmerksam gemacht.

      Google translation:

      One sees that the material order already sets certain ones points of view ahead and is therefore conditional; only with a clear arrangement of the material will we also vice versa often enough due to accumulating data in a way that we didn't expect at first, in a completely new way points of view of our topic.

      While discussing the various orders of research material, Ernst Bernheim mentions the potential of accumulating data and arranging it in various manners such that we obtain new points of view in unexpected ways. This sounds quite similar to a process of idea generation similar to combinatorial creativity, though not as explicit.

      The process creates the creativity, but isn't necessarily used to force the creativity here.

      While he doesn't point out a specific generative mechanism for the creation of the surprise, it's obvious that his collection and collation method underpins it.

    1. Ernst Bernheim (19 February 1850 – 9 July 1942) was a German historian who is best known for an influential Lehrbuch der historischen Methode (1889) on historical method.
  6. Mar 2022
    1. Topic A topic was once a spot not a subjecttopic. to ̆p’ı ̆k. n. 1. The subject of a speech, essay, thesis, or discourse. 2. A subject of discussion or con-versation. 3. A subdivision of a theme, thesis, or outline.*With no teleprompter, index cards, or even sheets of paper at their disposal, ancient Greek and Roman orators often had to rely on their memories for holding a great deal of information. Given the limi-tations of memory, the points they chose to make had to be clustered in some meaningful way. A popular and quite reliable method for remembering information was known as loci (see Chapter 9), where loci was Latin for “place.” It involved picking a house you knew well, imagining it in your mind’s eye, and then associating the facts you wanted to recall with specifi c places inside of that house. Using this method, a skillful orator could mentally fi ll up numerous houses with the ideas he needed to recall and then simply “visit” them whenever he spoke about a particular subject. The clusters of informa-tion that speakers used routinely came to be known as commonplaces, loci communes in Latin and koinos topos in Greek. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle referred to them simply as topos, meaning “places.” And that’s how we came to use topic to refer to subject or grouping of information.**

      Even in the western tradition, the earliest methods of mnemonics tied ideas to locations, from whence we get the ideas of loci communes (in Latin) and thence commonplaces and commonplace books. The idea of loci communes was koinos topos in Greek from whence we have derived the word 'topic'.

      Was this a carryover from other local oral traditions or a new innovation? Given the prevalence of very similar Indigenous methods around the world, it was assuredly not an innovation. Perhaps it was a rediscovery after the loss of some of these traditions locally in societies that were less reliant on orality and moving towards more reliance on literacy for their memories.

  7. Jan 2022
    1. Survivals of this spatially oriented technique still mark our language when we say “in the first place” and “passing on to the next point.”

      The use of mnemonic techniques through history have been crystalized into our language with phrases like "in the first place" and "passing on to the next point".

  8. Dec 2021
    1. Hobbes and Rousseau told their contemporaries things that werestartling, profound and opened new doors of the imagination. Nowtheir ideas are just tired common sense. There’s nothing in them thatjustifies the continued simplification of human affairs. If socialscientists today continue to reduce past generations to simplistic,two-dimensional caricatures, it is not so much to show us anythingoriginal, but just because they feel that’s what social scientists areexpected to do so as to appear ‘scientific’. The actual result is toimpoverish history – and as a consequence, to impoverish our senseof possibility.

      The simplification required to make models and study systems can be a useful tool, but one constantly needs to go back to the actual system to make sure that future predictions and work actually fit the real world system.

      Too often social theorists make assumptions which aren't supported in real life and this can be a painfully dangerous practice, especially when those assumptions are built upon in ways that put those theories out on a proverbial creaking limb.

      This idea is related to the bias that Charles Mathewes points out about how we treat writers as still living or as if they never lived. see: https://hypothes.is/a/VTU2lFvZEeyiJ2tN76i4sA