Microhistory

Microhistory is a branch of the study of history. First developed in the 1970s microhistory is the study of the past on a very small scale. The most common type of microhistory is the study of a small town or village. Other common studies include looking at individuals of minor import, or analysing a single painting. As the roots of major events are grounded in the actions of villagers these studies often have much large ramifications. Microhistory is an important component of the "new history" that has emerged since the 1960s. It is usually done in close collaboration with the social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology.

Microhistory should not be confused with the common practice of amateur historians looking at the history of their village or church, studies that almost always lack neutrality.

Noted microhistorians include:

  • Wolfgang Behringer
  • Alain Corbin
  • Theo van Deursen
  • Clifford Geertz
  • Carlo Ginsburg
  • Craig Harline
  • Giovanni Levi
  • Luis Mott
  • Osvaldo Raggio
  • Jacques Revel
  • David Sabean
  • Stella Tillyard



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