Client contacts an SHRA researcher with an area of research or set of research questions. For example, you may have a narrow inquiry that involves a clearly defined question, such as whether a road or trail existed before the government declared the area a National Forest. Or, you may have a more complicated set of research objectives, such as examining the administration of a river system over a 40-year period or the historical operators or arrangers at a CERCLA site.
← 0 - 30 days →
Scope of Work
SHRA researchers review and analyze the historical literature, then identify relevant archival repositories for research. Researchers will communicate the results of the Scope of Work search to the client and get feedback before drafting a research plan.
SHRA researchers develop a thorough, detailed research plan to discuss with client. Decisions about which repositories to visit are made based upon the client’s strategy and upon proven and accepted historical methods. Once the Research Plan has been discussed with the client, SHRA researchers will begin collecting documents.
← 0 - 30 days →
Historial Investigation and Forensic Research
SHRA researchers conduct fieldwork at archival repositories to gather relevant primary sources. Archival repositories might include the National Archives, State Archives, Regional Archives, public libraries, or other relevant collections. Primary sources might include government records, company records, deeds, historic maps, or aerial photos, among others. SHRA may return to this stage of the process after some analysis and review. These two phases often happen simultaneously and repeatedly.
SHRA researchers organize, synthesize, and abstract relevant information from collected sources. They develop, follow up on, and incorporate additional research leads. From this research, they shape the historical narrative surrounding the client’s research questions.
← 90 - 365+ days →
SHRA’s deliverables range from books and museum exhibit content, to an expert or rebuttal reports, rebuttal reports, annotated timelines, affidavits, cultural resource surveys, or any combination of these. SHRA offers post-deliverable support, as well, in the form of speaking engagements to discuss projects, or other, similar appearances or engagement.
← 90 - 120 days →
SHRA historians and researchers use this multi-stage process to answer research questions thoroughly and provide complete and fully documented historical context. Interactions with clients occur throughout the process. Often, these stages overlap. For example, archival research continues even after we begin analyzing primary sources and moving toward conclusions and the desired end product, whether an expert report, book or other presentation of results.