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Database Search Tips
Finding good information resources can be frustrating!
Make it a more satisfying experience by using these strategies:
Use specific search terms - A search for global warming will get thousands of results, but global warming and agricultural impact will result in fewer and more relevant results.
Try using the "Advanced Search" screen - You'll find it easier to add more terms to your search and specify where they should appear - for example, in an article title or subject heading.
Try an exact phrase - Searching for stem cell research will retrieve results with these three words, but to ensure that they appear as a phrase (together and in the same order), try putting them in quotation marks: "stem cell research".
Use "search options" or "limits" - limit your search to full text articles, academic/scholarly articles (what's this?) or to a specific date range. Limit features can often be found in a side menu or on the database's Advanced Search screen.
If you get stuck, contact your campus librarian!
Scholarly, Popular & Trade Journals
Your instructor may require articles from scholarly journals (also called academic or peer-reviewed journals) instead of popular magazines.
There's also something called a trade journal.
What's the difference? Here's a quick overview courtesy of Ithaca College Library.
What is a Primary Source?
Primary sources are the raw tools of historical research - the material closest to the topic of investigation. Often they are created during the time period which is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories). You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc.
Egyptian, Greek, Roman, & African Cultures
Digital Roman Forum
From 1997 to 2003 the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory (CVR Lab) created a digital model of the Roman Forum as it appeared in late antiquity. The notional date of the model is June 21, 400 A.D.
Internet African History Sourcebook
Vast array of documents and resources about the many cultures which originated from the African continent. Also includes resources on Egypt, and Greek and Roman presence.
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook is a companion to the Internet Medieval Sourcebook and the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Medieval Sourcebook is both a classroom resource and the largest collection of online medieval texts. The Ancient and Modern Sourcebooks have a different role: since there are already ample online repositories of texts for these periods, the goal here is to provide and organize texts for use in classroom situations.
Perseus Digital Library Project
The Perseus digital library provides a variety of resources on the ancient world. Material includes primary texts, and archaeology collections. Also includes material on the Renaissance and ancient Arabic and Germanic cultures.
The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri
The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri aims to support and promote new research, graduate student training and international collaboration in the decipherment of the largely unstudied Tebtunis Papyri. Excavated at the turn of the last century at the Greco-Roman site of Tebtunis, the papyri are held by The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.
An Introduction to the Samurai
Lessons, videos, and essays for grades from the Asian Art Museum.
Asia for Educators
An initiative of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, Asia for Educators (AFE) is designed to serve faculty and students in world history, culture, geography, art, and literature at the undergraduate and pre-college levels.
Heroes and Legends: Samurai in Japanese Prints
Japanese ukiyo-e prints remain among the most celebrated of the arts of Japan. Cheap, highly reproducible, and full of the drama and legend, ukiyo-e are the “Pictures of the Floating World,” woodblock prints that proliferated during the Edo Period, 1600-1868. While some of the more famous genres within ukiyo-e featured actors, courtesans, and landscapes, musha-e (warrior pictures) constituted another popular genre. Musha-e featured historical and legendary samurai (immortalized in literature and drama), often engaged in battle and outfitted in samurai armor.
This site is a joint project of the Historic Cities Center of the Department of Geography, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jewish National and University Library. The site is intended to contain maps, literature, documents, books and other relevant material concerning the past, present and future of historic cities.
The David Rumsey Map Collection
This historical map collection has over 63,000 maps and images online. The collection includes rare 16th through 21st century maps of America, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific and the World.
Oxford University is internationally renowned for its scholarly library collections, and in particular for those of the Bodleian Library which has been a library of deposit for almost 400 years. The University has a long tradition in digital scholarship and there are a number of completed library projects focusing on the digitization of primary resources.
Epistolae: Medieval Women's Letters
Epistolae is a collection of letters to and from women dating from the 4th to the 13th century AD. These letters from the Middle Ages, written in Latin, are presented with English translations and are organized by the women participating. Biographical sketches of the women and descriptions of the subject matter or the historic context of the letter is included where available.
Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts
This database contains all kinds of information about the illuminated medieval manuscripts of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
Large collection of sources concerning medieval history, with emphasis on European countries. Some links may be broken.
Yale Avalon Project
This Yale Law Library site aggregates digital documents relevant to the fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy and government from antiquity to the present. There are segments devoted to ancient and medieval documents.