What is archival research? Archival research is looking into archives or collections that libraries have to conduct primary research. Archival research is an excellent source of research because all the facts are there in forms of documents, audio, posters, clothing, books, and more. This type of research allows researchers to dig deeper and find accurate sources of a specific topic. While doing archival research, it is necessary to ask questions because those questions will lead to another artifact that has more information in it.
The good thing about archival research is that an individual that is doing the research will not have to stare at a long piece of text, just because there are other sources to get information from. Those that are conducting the research use metadata to further advance in their research process. Metadata helps researchers go from one element to another. Also, tags that are explicitly related to a particular topic is useful to find more information.
What kind of questions is useful when doing archival research? After sitting in class today, I realized there is not a particular way on what to ask for while doing research. The best thing to do is to look at the artifact and analyze every little detail. Sometimes even the clothing or the mood of an individual will allow one to find more information. Eventually, with practice, the research process will become slightly more natural, but until then some archivists are highly trained and meant for research dealing with artifacts to get a bit of help from, along the way.
The activity we did towards the end of class helped me understand archival research. When I looked at books and newspaper clippings of young teens being affected by HIV and AIDS, I began to generate my topic which was dealing with teens and HIV and AIDS. As I started looking around the room, I found a few more items that helped me understand the heartbreaking impact these diseases had on young teens and the awareness that was conducted afterward.