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HIS300/500: Home

Guide created to address the research needs ofthe HIS300 and HIS500 courses..

Subject Guide

Tara Wink
Special Collections
FHG Library Room 615
Phone: 610-436-3456


Reference Desk:

Phone: 610-436-2453


Mon- Thurs 8:30 am-10:00 pm

Friday         8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday     12:00 pm-5:00 pm

Sunday       12:00 pm-10:00 pm


Welcome!  This guide is meant to provide you with helpful tips and tricks as well as some direction for where and how to start your research projects.  The resources listed here are by no means exhaustive and if you get lost and need some guidance please do not hesitate to contact me.  Good luck and happy researching!


Not sure where to start?  Try OneSearch!  It searches the library catalog, databases, as well as some freely available sites.  This does mean a large number of results but it can lead to different, diverse materials.  Try it and use the limiters on the left hand side of the screen. Try it for Primary Sources!


Tips and Tricks

Boolean Operators and Wildcards

     AND – means you want both terms in your results; tends to narrow results’ list

         Ex: Civil War AND Nurse

     OR – means you want one or the other terms in your results – use with synonyms; tends to broaden results’ list

         Ex: Civil War OR War of Northern Aggression OR War Between the States

     NOT – use when you are getting a reoccurring term that you are not interested in

         Ex: Nurse NOT women

? or * -- used to expand your results without having to type in multiple words; different databases use these differently.  The library catalog uses the ? but some databases use the *.  Play around with them to see how your results change.

        Ex: wom?n – will return results for woman and women 

        Ex: nurs* – will return results for nurse, nurses, and nursing

 “quotes” – use to search for a phrase

        Ex: “Civil War”



Subject Headings or Subjects

    Subject headings are created by librarians to describe exactly what the materials are about.  They connect materials with similar topics or themes together.  They are called different things depending on the catalog or database but most have them.  Click on them to find more materials on your topic.


With historical research keep in mind that terms change over time.  Change your search terms accordingly. 

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