Meaning and Characteristics In the following text the meaning and characters of historical approach will be discussed.
Definition: It is concerned with identification, location evaluation and synthesis of data from the past. It does not seek to discover the past but also to relate with the present and to the future. Leininger (1985) describes that work "Without a past there is no meaning to the present, nor can be develop a sense of ourselves as individuals and as members of groups". Historical research may be more difficult to conduct than some of the other type of research. Historical research must develop the curiosity, perseverarice, tenacity and skepticism of the detective.
Characteristics: The data of historical is usually found in documents or in relics and artifacts. Documents may include vide range of printed material, oral reports found in libraries, archives, or personal collection.
The sources of data collection for historical researcfi may be primaji and . secondary.
1) Primary source are those that provide first hand information or direct evidence. Primary sources should be used in historical research, when possible. There are many examples of-primary sources a) oral history b) written records c) diaries d) eye witnesses e) pictorial sources f) physical evidence. In case nurse researcher wants to examine the practices of nurse midwife in 1940. An oral histn;~ might be obtained from older member of nursing professionals, who haJ practiced as nurse midwife during that time. Researcher might even explore some field notes written by people during that period. Some women who had undergone care might be the eyewitnesses. Some old equipment which were used may also be identified. Hence, all these sources will help to collect adequate data for the study.
2) Secondary source: Second or third hand information on account of historical eirents or experiences for e.g. text book, encyclopedia, other reference books written by individuals who are summarizing or interpreting primary source material e.g. Newspaper and other documents which are less reliable.