1.1 How the course works and what it contains
This unit has been designed to help anyone with an interest in the history of Wales to find key information and to begin understanding the way that historians of Wales do their work. It is aimed both at those who are generally interested in the subject and may have a good knowledge of Welsh history already, and at those who are relatively new to the subject. So, while some of the material (such as the taster material from the OU course Small country, big history: themes in the history of Wales) provides a short programme of study devoted to a very specific topic, much of the material included in the unit as a whole can be used and studied in a variety of ways.
The unit title, Welsh history and its sources, was the generic title for a series of books that was prepared at The Open University in Wales between 1988 and 1995, and edited by Trevor Herbert and Gareth Elwyn Jones. The seven volumes in the series were made possible by a Welsh Office grant and brought together the work of more than forty historians of Wales.
The series was important because it did not just provide a rich array of materials about Welsh history; it also explained the way that historians of Wales work by showing the relationship between their writings about Welsh history and the evidence or sources upon which those writings are based. The variety of material contained in this unit not only continues the legacy of the original Welsh history and its sources project, it also extends it and makes it suitable for an online environment.