History KS2: How to research archive pictures

A picture paints a thousand words and archive photographs are a rich source for historians.

Presenter Joe Crowley passes on some practical tips on how to find and use photographic archives.

Joe considers both specialist archives, where a specific type of photo might be held, as well as general sources.

He also looks at the value of personal and family photographs as a way of understanding historical figures and themes.

This clip is from the series History Hunt Episode 2.

Teacher Notes

After viewing the clip, challenge pupils to begin developing a picture archive for your school (including the street the school stands on, and the neighbourhood that surrounds it).

Pupils could write letters to relatives and a range of local organisations and businesses, asking for copies of old photos and any information that exists about them.

They could photograph and document the school as it stands today, to add to the archive.

Teachers at your school may have photographs that illustrate its past, too.

Children could look at an online picture archive to gain tips about how to label their finds.

Finally, you could arrange a visit to a local picture archive (for example at a nearby library), so the children can find out more about their area and about how to organise their own archive.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching History at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at National 2 Level in Scotland.

More from History Hunt:

An investigation into the life and work of Muriel Matters
An investigation into the life and work of Thomas Andrews
How to use archives
How to interview people
How to research film archives
How to research newspapers