Researching ‘the most dangerous of all sources’: Egodocuments


Egodocuments are texts in which an author writes about his or her own acts, thoughts and feelings, such as diaries, blogs, and memoirs. This chapter looks at how egodocuments can be (and are) used by military researchers. It concludes that egodocuments offer great research opportunities for any researcher irrespective of scientific discipline or methodological background.

Although this is a book chapter, an extract is available for download via the links provided.


For egodocuments, all sorts of elements can be researched from paratext, theme and plot, to the psychology behind word usage, and both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used. Careful scoping and time and patience to collect the documents involved are essential ingredients for the successful military egodocument researcher who is looking for well-accessible, rich sources on the military.

Full Reference

Kleinreesink, E., 2014. Researching ‘the most dangerous of all sources’: Egodocuments. In: Handbook of Research Methods in Military Studies. London: Routledge. Eds: J. Soeters, P. M. Shields, S. Rietjens. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/esmeralda_kleinreesink/12/.