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History is often used as a generic term for information about the past, such as in "geologic history of the Earth." When used as the name of a field of study, history means human history, which is the recorded memory of past human societies.

The term history comes from the Greek historia, "an account of one's inquiries," and shares that etymology with the English word story. Some feminist scholars instead use the term herstory for the word history.

Historians use many types of sources, including written or printed records, interviews (oral history), and archaeology. Different approaches may be more common in some periods than others, and the study of history has its fads and fashions (see historiography and the history of history). The events that occurred prior to human records are known as prehistory.

Knowledge of history is often said to encompass both knowledge of past events and historical thinking skills.

See also: History of the world

Table of contents
1 Classifications
2 See also
3 External links


A very large amount of historical information is available in Wikipedia, and several different ways of classifying it are given below.

History classified by location

History classified by date:

Academic classification

Miscellaneous classifications

(Not necessarily part of academic history studies)

Ideological classifications

Although certain amount of
bias in history studies is inescapable, national bias being probably the most important, history can also be studied from a narrow ideological perspective, perhaps one that the practitioners feel is usually ignored. For example:

A form of historical speculation known commonly as virtual history (also called "counterfactual history") been adopted by some historians as a means of assessing and exploring the possible outcomes if certain events had not occurred or had occurred in a different way to that which they did. This is somewhat similar to the alternative history genre in fiction.

You may also want to see dubious historical resources and historical myths for a list of false beliefs and histories which were once or are now popular and widespread, but which are proven to be false or dubious.

Guidelines for history on Wikipedia can be found at Wikipedia:History.

See also

External links