Heritage Resources Management (HERM) 312

Heritage Research (Revision 1)

HERM 312

Revision 1 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: HERM 512. (HERM 312 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HERM 512. Also, students who complete HERM 312 will not be eligible to register in HERM 512).

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Heritage Resources Management Home Page

HERM 312 is not available for challenge.

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Research is basic to all heritage activity. Without detailed knowledge and understanding of the past, it is impossible to develop useful and accurate interpretive programs or to preserve and promote heritage resources. Because heritage resources are so varied, research strategies and methodology are equally varied. This course offers understanding of the place of research in heritage preservation. On successful completion of this course, you will have knowledge of, and an appreciation for, the techniques and methods crucial to research projects that support a range of heritage activities.


HERM 312 introduces you to some of the central issues, sources, and skills for heritage research. The course is made up of ten units, and requires you to do a number of readings and assignments.

  • Unit 1: The Big Picture: Perspectives on Heritage Research and the Public
  • Unit 2: Getting Started: Planning a Research Project; Finding and Accessing Documentary Sources
  • Unit 3: Documentary Sources: Evaluating and Interpreting Text Primary Records
  • Unit 4: Documentary Sources: Examining Pictorial Records
  • Unit 5: Oral History: The Document and the Research Method
  • Unit 6: Material Culture: Artifact-based Research and Interpretation
  • Unit 7: Material Culture: Archaeological Resources and Heritage Research
  • Unit 8: Architectural HeritageResources: Documenting, Researching, and Interpreting Buildings
  • Unit 9: The Resources of Place: Researching and Interpreting Landscapes
  • Unit 10: Putting It All Together: A Case Study in Heritage Research

Course Objectives

HERM 312: Heritage Research introduces students to some of the formative issues and practices in heritage research. After completing the course, you should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of research in the multidisciplinary field of Heritage Resources Management.
  • Identify and use a wide range of documentary and non-documentary sources for various heritage research needs.
  • Understand the problems, advantages, and issues that arise when using various types of sources of evidence including documentary research, oral history, and material culture.
  • Plan and undertake basic historical research on a given topic, using a variety of source types, and present your findings in an appropriate format.


To receive credit in HERM 312, you must complete all the assignments and achieve a minimum course composite grade of “D” (50 percent). All assignments must be completed and submitted before your final mark can be calculated. The chart below summarizes the course activities and the credit weight associated with each assignment.

Assign. 1 Analyzing Visual Images Assign. 2 Learning to Listen Assign. 3 Understanding the Archaeological Record Assign. 4 Research Plan Total
20% 20% 20% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


There is no textbook for this course.

Other Materials

Northwest Women’s History Project. Good Work, Sister! Women Shipyard Workers of World War II: An Oral History. Portland: Northwest Women’s History Project, 1982, 2006. (DVD, 20 minutes).

The course print materials also include a Reading File.

The course electronic materials include

  • A course Moodle home page
  • A Digital Reading Room
  • An online Student Manual
  • An online Course Information File
  • A Study Guide

Athabasca University’s library Web site to review the Library’s collection of journal databases, electronic journals and digital reference tools: http://library.athabascau.ca.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, January 8, 2009.

Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services