Historiography is the study of the history and methodology of the discipline of history.
The term historiography also denotes a body of historical work on a specialized topic. Scholars discuss historiography topically – such as the “historiography of Catholicism,” the “historiography of early Islam,” or the “historiography of China” – as well as specific approaches and genres, such as political history and social history. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the ascent of academic history, a corpus of historiographic literature developed.
The research interests of historians change over time, and in recent decades there has been a shift away from traditional diplomatic, economic and political history toward newer approaches, especially social and cultural studies. From 1975 to 1995, the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history rose from 31% to 41%, while the proportion of political historians fell from 40% to 30%. In the history departments of British universities in 2007, of the 5723 faculty members, 1644 (29%) identified themselves with social history while political history came next with 1425 (25%). >
1 a : the writing of history; especially : the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials, and the synthesis of particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods b : the principles, theory, and history of historical writing
2 : the product of historical writing : a body of historical literature
— his·to·rio·graph·i·cal also his·to·rio·graph·ic adjective
— his·to·rio·graph·i·cal·ly adverb >