The History Courseware CD-Rom: Core Resources for Historians

Sonja Cameron
CTI Centre for History, Archaeology and Art History
1 University Gardens
Glasgow G12 8QQ

The CD Rom, Core Resources for Historians, was produced by the TLTP History Courseware Consortium at Glasgow University. This was the work of 26 authors at 20 different institutions with Glasgow University acting as the lead site. The Consortium produced 12 tutorials which are grouped into four themes: Women's History, The Coming of Mass Politics, Industrial Revolution and Post-industrialisation, and the Pre-modern Period. The twelve tutorials have been designed to aid the teaching of history students using computer technology. Each tutorial is centred around a lecture written by a subject specialist, enriched by supporting examples and supplementary resources.

The twelve multi-media tutorials contain over 2000 primary and secondary sources, some of them unique to this software, which would have only been accessible to professional historians.

All tutorials are in html format which maximises user friendliness, promotes movement and flexibility and enables easy integration into existing history courses. The open-ended design provides various pathways through the material and allows students to access material in more depth and breadth than with a traditional textbook.

The tutorials were designed from the outset to be easily customized enabling them to be adapted for local teachinig requirements.

The CD has been in used in a variety of ways at universities in the British Isles for a year. It can be used as a supplementary resource, as a lecture, tutorial or module replacement, as a companion for an entire course or form the centre of a whole on-line course. It can be used for individual or teamwork assignments, to promote independent learning and teamwork skills whilst enhancing the traditional historians skills of analysis, interpretation and decision making.

Implementation is supported by a full time Academic Support Officer, a programme of introductory and advanced workshops, technical helpdesk and a dedicated users web site.

The Courseware Consortium is currently in the process of obtaining copyright clearance for use of the CD Rom in the USA, and it is expected that it will be available within the next year.

It is intended to give a short general presentation, lasting perhaps 15-20 minutes, on the CD Rom and its contents, with some reference to its implementation at selected universities, followed by a demonstration session in which conference participants can explore the CD Rom by themselves and ask any relevant questions.

The presentation will require an overhead display linked to a PC running Office 97 (in particular Powerpoint) on Windows 95 or 98. For the demonstration, the overhead display plus a PC running Netscape or Internet Explorer is required.


Sonja Cameron graduated with a Ph.D. in History from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1992. Since then she has taught medieval Scottish history at the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. In addition, she has been involved in various computing projects. Since October 1998 she is History Co-ordinator for the Computers in Teaching Initiative, funded by the Higher Education Funding Councils of the British Isles.