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Analyzing Audiovisuals

Audiovisual records include sound recordings and moving image recordings. Recordings of music, speeches, commercials, movies, and interviews are just a few of the many types of historic records that capture the past through sight and sound. Historians examine audiovisual records to learn more about the information and images that people share with each other and to find evidence to answer questions about the past. 

Audiovisual records offer a chance to hear and see the past as it actually happened. Hearing famous words as they were first spoken or watching video footage taken of an event brings you a bit closer to that moment in time. As you watch and listen, think about how and why that recording was created. Who was meant to hear it or watch it? How was it shared? As you ask and answer more questions about the recording, you piece together its particular story.