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What do historians do?
What do historians do?

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3 Historians challenge public understanding of the past

In this third section you will see how historians use evidence to challenge and change existing knowledge and ideas about the past. Our understanding of history is constantly evolving but this knowledge can carry with it some established and widely held misconceptions or even myths. Recent research has changed our understanding of part of the law and criminal justice system, particularly how people were punished for crimes they committed.

A black and white sketch of a street. In the background are several high-rise residential buildings. In the lower half of the image is a large crowd of people. In the immediate foreground, a police officer blows a whistle as he grabs a young man by the collar. The young man’s clothes are patched. Another man confronts the police officer, while other individuals look on with distrust. Out of frame, someone tries to pull the young man out of the police officer’s grip.
Figure 17 ‘Police work in the East End’, The Graphic, 28 December 1895.