A Definition of Historical Evidence
People who study history are called historians. They look at things that happened in the past and try to find reasons why things happened the way they did. They look for connections and make links between events, people and places and they analyse changes that have happened as a result of things that happened in the past.
Most historians seek to use evidence to compile a history of a certain time. However, some historians seek to reconstruct the past - they use evidence to challenge existing ideas about the past and seek to show that the histories of other historians are incorrect.
The work of a historian is a bit like that of a detective. A historian looks for evidence and then tries to piece together the facts.
Historical evidence can take many forms:
Physical Evidence – A building, monument, object, piece of clothing or pottery
Written Evidence - A diary, book, letter, plan or receipt
Visual Evidence - A painting, photograph or geographical feature
Oral Evidence - A memory, nursery rhyme, sound recording or song
What is History? Chronology Evidence Interpretation Recording History Reference Contact