in its broadest sense, is the story of humanity's past. It also refers to the recording of that past. The diverse sources of history include books, newspapers, printed documents, personal papers, and other archival records, artifacts, and oral accounts. Historians use this material to form coherent narratives and uncover linked sequences and patterns in past events. Most histories are concerned with causality, that is, why certain outcomes happened as they did, and how they are linked to earlier events.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.