Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. 1990. “Excavating Underappreciated Sociologists: A Survey of Assumptions and Strategies in Archival Research.” Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Washington, DC, August 15.


Copyright 1990 Michael R. Hill


Archivally-based research in the history and sociology of sociology (especially the recent work of Mary Jo Deegan on Jane Addams and the Men of the Chicago School, 1892-1918) powerfully demonstrates the central epistemological importance of excavating and rehabilitating the contributions of sociologists who have long been ignored by historians of sociology. Archival experience reveals that uncovering the unknown, the unwritten, or the unrecognized in the history of sociology frequently requires reversing the conventional wisdoms of sociological research. Ten archival research strategies are identified. These approaches are best adapted to long-term rather than short-term research programs. It is concluded that. the recovery of institutionally-discounted sociologists through archival research is an important epistemological and emancipatory task in sociology.