We have so many great primary source databases for historical research that it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you navigate them.
Take a look at this page where you can get a feel for the types of materials and subject areas that primary sources can cover!
Tip 1: Although I am a big fan of using databases to find scholarly articles, for this class, I suggest that you start your research into your historical context with books/book chapters. Books are often better at giving you the background and overview of a historical topic, while scholarly articles in history journals often focus on extremely narrow topics.
Tip 2: Remember to mine the bibliographies of reference sources and any other good source you find to more sources. This can save you a lot of time and is something that scholars do themselves! Search for the titles in OneSearch to see if we have access.
Tip 3: Use our interlibrary loan systems! Remember that Professor Navitsky wants good quality sources. If we don't have have a recent book or a great article on a topic, we can still get it in 2-3 business days.
Tip 4: Remember that the key to finding good sources is to be willing to try more than one database and try multiple searches. Remember that changing even one word in a search will bring back very different results. For instance 'Hawthorne women', 'women 19th', 'women nineteenth' and 'marriage 19th' might all bring back useful sources if you were researching how Hawthorne's portrayal of women in the Scarlet Letter reflected the roles and status of women in the 19th century.
See the description of each database for what subject area(s) it covers and what type of sources it includes.
OneSearch is our search tool that brings back a mix of result types and from different subject areas.
You should go to OneSearch for: