6. Think about the most important genres (types of documents or other resources) that are used to communicate in your capstone field/discipline. For each genre/type of resource, why is it useful--for what audience and for what purpose?
This is a primary source, a property deed issued by the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam (later New York), to Manuel de Spangie, one of the first Black landowners in the colony. The value of this document is that it is unique -- few such documents exist today. It tells historians about property transactions and the status of free Black men in the colony of New Amsterdam. Historians interpret primary sources such as property deeds to better understand the past.
Historians like Ken Burns create documentary films and TV series. These films require large amounts of money to pay researchers, acquire the rights to use copyrighted music and film footage, pay editors, camera operators, and others involved in the production of a large scale production. Ken Burns' films about Jazz, the Civil War, Muhammad Ali, and more have brought history large audiences.
7. Who creates these genres/types of resources, and what resources must be invested in their creation (labor, time, other resources)? How are these resources paid for?
For most primary sources used by historians, the person or entity that created them are long gone. Primary sources are preserved, described, and organized so that historians and other research are able to find and understand them by archivists. This website describes the many different roles of archivists at the U.S. National Archives. The Federal Government funds the National Archives. Other archives are supported through state and local tax dollars and through the support of non-profit and academic institutions.
Many historian publish their work in books and journals. Some publishers, like this historical society press, publish works that are related to history. Publishers usually pay authors to publish their work (and then provide royalties for copies sold). They absorb the expense of editing and producing physical and digital books. Historians often work for museums and universities and these institutions pay their salaries to conduct research, write, and teach.
8. Who typically holds copyright for the intellectual property in these genres/types of resources?
This page by the Library of Congress explains that primary sources are like other materials when it comes to copyright. Researchers and historians need to determine whether they need to seek permission to reproduce or use primary documents. Very old documents may be the property of an organization or individual. Many documents, especially those created by the U.S. Federal Government, are in the public domain.
9. Who typically seeks to access in order to use these genres/types of resources, and how do they gain access?
Researchers who wish to use the archives of the Warhol Museum’s archival collections are asked to fill out this research request form. This is a common practice for archives which often contain unique and valuable collections.
This article in a magazine for historians called History Today describes one historian’s experience of receiving permission to view confidential records held by the British government related to Cold War espionage. The author explains how the U.S. Freedom of Information Act enables researchers to make formal requests for classified government documents and to appeal any request that are denied. Access to historical documents are “the lifeblood of historians.”