All social inquiry is historical in the sense that it in one way or another engages with that which comes before the present moment. Even prognostication looks to the past to establish likely patterns for the future. Thus, to an extent, all methods are in a sense historical. Many social scientists nevertheless ignore the inherent historical dimension of their research, and unfortunately cut themselves off from the sophisticated tools and approaches developed by historians. This poses several problems to social scientists, for even if there might be no unitary historical method as such, historians have developed a number of general tools for discussing source material of different kinds. International Relations (IR) scholars would greatly benefit from acquiring at least the rudimentary of this form of production of knowledge.