First steps

1) Start with some introductory texts on Social Network Analysis

Among the general HNR articles in the Bibliography, Scott Weingart’s blog post series “Networks Demystified” and Claire Lemercier’s article “Formal network methods in history” are particularly useful to get you ideas. To get a first idea of Social Network Analysis terminology and concepts, you may find this Cheat Sheet helpful.

A great resource which will help you understand what you can expect from Social Network Analysis is Valdis Krebs’ Network Discovery Matrix.


2) Find answers to these questions:

1. Are you interested in complex relational patterns?
2. Can you find them in your sources?
3. Which types of relationships will you study?
4. How do they relate to each other?
5. What do you expect to find?
6. Is this relevant to your questions?

The “Should I do Social Network Analysis?” flow chart may also help you with these questions.

If you are already working with network visualisations, take a look at Yannick Rochat’s blog post on best practices:

3) Subscribe to the HNR Newsletter and find out what is happening around you


4) Search this site for relevant work and resources and approach people in the field. They’re all happy to help.