In Search of History

How can library technology and history research become more effective for the researcher or patron? This will be the topic of my first five blog post. Prior I never saw myself as a blogger, I just had webpages for topics of interests or online museums. For my graduate school Library Technology class, we had to start a blog, so this will begin my ‘library’ themed blog for my website.

During my years of undergraduate college, I loved writing and research. It was one of my favorite things to do. I would become immersed for hours reading a book; looking at microfilm; or looking up journal articles online. In some way, I hope that some of my experience and lessons may help other students, researchers, or academically interested adults.

When searching for information on your topic, you want to search for creditable sources. One of the first places to search is a database found at your school/university or local library. When deciding which databases to search, filer at the top and choose the subject of ‘history.’ This will narrow your results to the right databases to hopefully yield some results you can use.

Here are some of my favorite databases for history research:

My most used databases in my history research have been Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, HathiTrust, and Sabin Americana for historical and scholarly research. Academic Search Premier and JSTOR are great peer-reviewed journal sources. Sabin Americana database has older media and more obscure books than HathiTrust does. HathiTrust is wonderful for older out of print books.

Many libraries have research guides called a ‘pathfinder’ for general topics. A pathfinder is a research guide (or subject bibliography) completed by a librarian that will help you start your research. This guide will have some examples of books on your topic as well as specific journals and databases for your search. The more you practice researching subjects, the more efficient and easier it becomes.

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