Research tips

Top tips for researchers

Some simple preparations will help your research to be more productive.

Understand your research topic

Before delving into archival documents, study the published secondary sources of information in your area of interest. At the least, this means visiting a public or research library to find relevant books and reading them. Useful secondary material may be available in the Sydney Reference Collection.

Formulate your questions

Identify the scope of your enquiry as precisely as possible. For example, are you interested in Oxford Street generally, or a particular section, time period or building?

Use our online search tools

Use the online catalogues and search tools to identify records, photographs or other material that seems relevant to your research.

Ask an archivist

Discuss your research topic with one of the archivists when you contact us to make an appointment. Once we understand what you are trying to achieve, we can advise you on what records are available and how much work it will take.

Allow enough time

Research takes much longer than you will probably expect. Archival records are not an instant source of facts on every topic. They provide in-depth evidence. You may need patience and application to extract and understand it.

Last updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2012