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Student Archival Essays

Students completing majors in History at Melbourne University undertake a capstone subject, Making History, in their final year. In 2015, students each wrote an extended research essay on an individual topic based on the wider research brief assigned to each tutorial. This section contains a sample of the best student essays submitted by the tutorial assigned the *** topic. Each essay has been uploaded as it was submitted, and contains links to a number of the archival items they referenced and uploaded to One of the main archival sources focused on by students in this tutorial for their research essay was the International Peace Campaign Records in the University of Melbourne Archives. They also utilised sites such as Trove, and the State Library of Victoria.

Students who successfully completed this assessment were able to undertake an archivally-based research project that engaged with issues to do with the history, politics and culture of the archival sources of historical knowledge. Emphasis was placed on current debates in historical studies, as well as on the uses of history in the community beyond the classroom. Students in this subject considered the impact of the digital revolution on historical studies and undertook basic tasks in digital history, such as uploading files of digitised archival material to thier Omeka site.

The Archival research essay brief was to write an individual 2750 word research essay. Assessment criteria for the essays included demonstrating skill in archival research and use of archival primary resources, providing evidence of student capacity to locate the research findings in historical and historiographical contexts and presenting findings in a well-written imaginative way with appropriate source documentation.