In this introduction to the study of modern history, the end result of the lengthy teaching experience of Paolo Prodi, assisted by Giancarlo Angelozzi and Carla Penuti, students will find a general framework for the subject and a preliminary outline of historiographic problems, methods, and tools. The first part comprises a general reflection on the meaning of historical endeavours, reviews the essential traits which define, at various levels, the modern age, and provides a synthetic profile of that period's historiography by focusing on the role that the study of history has played in modern culture and educational systems. The second part has a dual goal: one is to supply basic information for organising study of the modern era through the use of libraries and archives; the other contains a useful bibliographical essay which offers a vast and up-to-date selection of references concerning all aspects of modern history.
Contents: Preface. - Part One: Criteria. - 1. History as a Discipline. - 2. Modern History. - 3. History of Modern Storiography. - 4. History at the End of the Millennium. - Part Two: Instruments. - 5. In the Library: Information and Bibliography. - 6. Libraries and Archives: Written Sources. - 7. Cataloguing and Citation Techniques. - Bibliographical Suggestions for Further Study. - Bibliographical References.
Paolo Prodi teaches Modern History in the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Bologna.