Management and critical analysis of information are key skills for historians. The ability to deal with a corpus of data using powerful computer techniques is a necessary skill not only for studying history but also for the development of historical expertise in society. This course is designed to introduce students to the structuring of data on the entity-relationship model and to go through all the stages necessary to create a relational database.
The course will use concrete examples of corpora of varied documents, both with a rigid structure (registers, lists, directories, etc.) and without (speeches, correspondence, etc.).
Objective of the course: from the perspective of their seminar or thesis, to provide history students with the conceptual tools to enable them to better understand, structure and deal with information drawn from their sources.
At the end of the course, students will be introduced to the principles according to which an information system functions, and will be able to undertake a project to design a historical database (structuring the data, entering it onto database management software, creation of encoding forms, requests).
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Using examples of the resolution of practical cases, this course covers the main stages in the formation of a relational database:
- How to analyse the field of application (sources, issues...), design a data structure;
- How to create the structure in a database management system;
- How to design the tools and strategies to help the process of collection/encoding;
- How to retrieve information from the resulting corpus.
Written exam, partly computer-based