from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • noun The study of the past on a small scale, such as an individual neighborhood or town, as a case study for general trends


  • Stern contended that "details are everything in this kind of microhistory, in which an inaccurate word or phrase can distort our perception of the historical record."

    A Near Miss

  • The book I wrote just prior to this one constituted, perhaps, a step toward biography: By telling a story of events that happened in a small town in just a few days, what historians call a "microhistory," I used a tiny fragment of history to illuminate large themes and problems.

    NPR Topics: News

  • In his magnificent and humane microhistory, Christopher Browning has drawn on the "written, transcribed, and/or taped accounts of 292" Jewish survivors, most of them from Wierzbnik, who shared a similar experience of the war.

    Jews, Poles & Nazis: The Terrible History (New York Review)

  • A telling example of microhistory writ large, The Hanging of Thomas Jeremiah narrates the story of the trial and execution of Thomas Jeremiah, one of the few free well-to-do black men in colonial South Carolina (and himself the owner of slaves), who was accused of treacherously aiding the British by fomenting a slave revolt.

    American Historical Association Blog

  • Beyond microhistory, Turkel declines to name this kind of focused story, but I’d like to call it nanohistory, which both indicates the difference of magnitude from microhistory but also includes a trendy prefix.

    On the Central Corridor Light Rail


The word 'microhistory' comes from 'micro-' and 'history'.