Before you can interpret an object (a text, sources, images, maps, films, statistics, diagrams etc.) requires thorough reading and/or description, analyses and comprehension. The aim is to reconstruct (to contextualise) the effect of the object and the intentions of the author by visualising the historical context. Afterwards, discuss and decide whether the author was able to convey his/her intentions and if not, why. What is the author’s relationship to the object?
In order to view the examination object in its historical context it is important to know
a) Where did the object originate?
b) What was happening at that time in politics, society, culture, education, art, and the economy?
c) The author’s biography, political leaning, social background, and place in society.
d) It is also important to get information on what is being represented (related, shown etc.).
For this you can use encyclopaedias, reference books and libraries. If you wish to work on the internet please read the entry “Internet” in the glossary.
In order to acquire a complex (multi-perspective) knowledge of the object and its origins it is advisable to read and compare different media (books, the internet, maps, images etc.) and information sources (specialist, belletristic, newspaper articles etc.).
The results of your interpretation can be presented and visualised in different ways. Take a look at the entries “Visualisation”, “Collage” and “Mind Map” in the glossary.