Chapter 18: Archival data
Restricted access

This chapter shows that “hard-to-get” archival data offer rich opportunities to answer research questions that analytical sociologists ask. Though data from archives are typically qualitative in the sense of non-numerical information that was recorded and kept for administrative reasons, the chapter illustrates how such data can be collected, prepared, and analyzed for the purposes of quantitative social science research. Drawing both on exemplary studies in analytical sociology and their own experiences, the authors consider where archival data sources offer new solutions for old problems and avenues for addressing sociological questions. Distinguishing between data collected from traditional tangible archives - repositories of manuscripts that need to be accessed in person - and new digital archives that are often associated with the idea of “big data”, the chapter considers methodological challenges one is likely to encounter during the research process, and offers empirical strategies to address these challenges.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account
Edited by
Handbook