We certainly do live in interesting times. It can seem as though we are the first to experience so many things, but if we really look at the past, we will find that we sometimes are not. Studying our history is one of the best ways to understand where we are and how we got there.
If history is one of your interests, then expanding your historical knowledge will be a lifelong experience. Here are 5 ways to branch out and add to your database when studying the past.
Hit the Library
Your local library is one of the easiest places to pick up nonfiction material from not only years gone by, but also research and academic publications from renowned minds in their fields. If you live in an area with a small library where the selection is slim, you can usually request books to be transferred from larger central locations. Many of the materials may also be available online through the library’s access to certain databases.
Take a History-filled Trip
Do you want to learn about American battlefields or World War II conflict sites? If it is within driving distance (or otherwise within your means to travel), why not go and experience it in person? Oftentimes the re-enactors or curators at these sites are the most knowledgeable people in the place where they work. They are invested in the preservation of their sites and sometimes have little tidbits of information to share that are not prevalent in textbooks. Immersing yourself in the period settings and with the people who are choosing to live their lives the way our ancestors did can be an exhilarating experience that you simply cannot get from the pages of a book.
There are documentaries made about almost every major event in our recent history – and some about true ancient history. If you have cable service or a subscription to a service such as Netflix or Hulu, there is a seemingly endless selection of historical documentaries available to view. The selection changes pretty frequently too, so you should not run the risk of “reaching the end of television”, so to speak. If you cannot find anything on a subject of interest to you, then try your trusty library for free DVDs available on loan.
Befriend an Academic
It cannot hurt to get to know a local history professor or email someone connected to a university history program. They often have access to resources or can share invaluable information with you, and are often happy to do so. In that same vein…
Go Back to School
Returning to university to obtain a postgraduate degree is made easy with programs like Norwich University’s military history master’s degree program. This distance program provides you with everything you need to fully immerse yourself in the world of military history, and will give you a completely accredited Master’s Degree. Attending a university with the intention to further your historical knowledge is a noble endeavor that only a few are capable of achieving. If history is your first love then finding those of like-mind should be high on your priority list.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan also enjoys researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.