92772 - Historical-Social Documentation Laboratory

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Alessandro Martelli

  • Credits 5

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Sociology (cod. 8495)

  • Course Timetable from Oct 05, 2021 to Dec 16, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The workshop aims to teach the epistemological and hermeneutical bases for research, selection, cataloguing, classification and propagation of historical sources; building and following a diachronic-thematic methodology at the service of observation, reflection and sociological analysis.

At the end of the workshop the student is able to find, verify, discriminate, contextualize and archive the different types of historical documentation - working in transversal way from analogical to digital - in the framework of an interpretative model that allows to recognize and appreciate the trend of a phenomenon over time (peculiarities, persistences, transformations), and also to deepen and consolidate some tools of social intervention.

Course contents

The workshop, which will introduce the student to the methodological foundations of historiographic reconstruction and documentary manipulation, develops a different thematic axis for each academic year, and is divided into three parts.

The first part deals with the theoretical and cognitive bases that govern the research, collection, classification and archiving of historical sources: a) correct setting of a thematic research in a geo-historical key; b) typological discrimination (written, oral, iconographic, audiovisual and multimedia sources); c) qualitative ordering (primary, secondary, tertiary sources); d) contextualization and falsification factors (in particular, through the principles of psychological anachronism and counterfactual conditionality).

The second part will be dedicated to the practical aspects of collecting, safeguarding, archiving and availability: where, and with which tools, to search for historical sources, disentangling between analogical materials, digital databases and individual pages scattered around the web; how to "save" digital copies of documentary and archival materials, using the appropriate versions and formats; build an archive, ordered by a descriptive catalog and managed with an internal search engine, of historical documentation.

Finally, the third part will put the collected and catalogued elements at the service of scientific reflection and didactic activity, instructing students in the composition of historical sources and documentations in new and specific conceptual information units, which can be used for sociological analysis.



  • Paci M., Sociologia storica e spiegazione causale, Ediesse, Roma, 2019
  • Baldazzi A., Metodologie per la ricerca storica, Gangemi, Roma, 2017
  • Sorcinelli P., Viaggio nella storia sociale, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2014
  • Rinzivillo G, Una epistemologia senza storia, Nuova Cultura, Roma, 2013
  • Sewell Jr. W.H., Logiche della storia. Eventi, strutture e cultura, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2008
  • Crespi F., Jedlowski P., Rauty R., La sociologia. Contesti storici e modelli culturali, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2000

Teaching methods

The workshop is based on a direct involvement of the students, who are required to make a continuous effort of practical translation of the notions and theoretical concepts introduced by the professor.

A methodology based on the illustration of empirical examples is used, accompanied by a progressive factual apprenticeship. During the exercises an atmosphere of dialogue and critical confrontation is maintained, aimed at consolidating a conscious learning.

The workshop requires  the attendance at least at 22 hours out of a total of 30.

Assessment methods

The students, divided into homogeneous groups, will be required to collaborate in the construction of a documentary unit, correlated to the thematic axis on which the workshop is based. To achieve eligibility - alternating research on their own and work in the classroom - students will have to demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary and sufficient competence in drawing on historical sources, to use them in a sociological analysis fortified by a diachronic and multi-causal perspective.

Teaching tools

Computers with audio system, Hard-disks, Image editing and converting software, Video editing software, Projector, Slides

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Martelli