Resources for History 4339
Borderlands of Empire
Reference resources can be a great place to start when you are seeing to develop a less-than-familiar topic. They can provide you with an overview and background information, summarize established knowledge and important facts, and offer a list of recommended sources or readings.
This selection of electronic reference resources is intended to give you an idea how useful they can be. Many more, ranging from the general to the specific, are available to you in print and electronic format and may be found by searching Chinook or looking under the heading History - General, Reference Sources in Find Articles & Databases.
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which focuses on people associated with Great Britain and its empire, includes a list of primary and secondary sources selected by the contributing authors. CU
Encyclopaedia Judaica, this update of the landmark resource presents the latest scholarship on historic topics as well as extensive new treatments of contemporary Jewish life, including added emphasis of the role of women and explorations of the full global scope of the Diaspora. Included are more than 21,000 signed entries on Jewish life, culture, history and religion, written by Israeli, American and European subject specialists. CU
The ABC-Clio eBook Collection, formerly History Reference Online, includes the full text of hundreds of reference titles on a great variety of historical subjects from a well-known publisher of history reference works. CU
Reference Universe allows you to search for terms in article titles and book indexes from a staggering array of both print and electronic reference resources and also to restrict your search to those available in the CU Libraries. CU
Tips for Developing a Search Strategy
Before starting your search, break your topic down into discrete concepts that represent the major aspects. These concepts will be used to develop search terms, that is, significant words or phrases (nouns or noun phrases work best) that can be used when searching in online catalogs or databases. These terms will determine the quantity and relevance of results you retrieve. For more flexible searching, think of various ways to express these search terms - synonyms, broader terms, and narrower terms. The Search Strategy Process Worksheet can be quite helpful in helping you develop search terms for your own topic.
- Thinking of terms couched in the language of the time period you are studying is particularly important for searching in full-text, primary-source databases. The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is a great resource for finding these terms.
- Avoid using redundant or overlapping search terms, e.g. using "19th century" and "Victorian period" or using "United States" in the Making of America database
- Adding terms that represent geographical distinctions, time periods, or significant figures associated with your topic may be useful
- AND: India AND "British empire" AND "20th century" (must find all terms)
- OR: anticolonialism OR nationalism (must find one of the terms)
- NOT: "South Asia" NOT India (must find first term NOT second term)
- Phrases: "colonial boundaries" (must find that phrase in that order)
- Synonyms: (anticolonialism OR nationalism) AND "20th century"
- Truncation and wildcards:
India* will find India, Indian and Indians
wom?n will find woman and women
Once you've selected your search terms, think critically about what kind of information resources you need and select appropriate indexes and databases in which to search for material.
This step is crucial to efficient identification of quality primary and secondary sources for your research. Are you looking for primary or secondary sources? Covering what area of the world? During what time period? Find Articles & Databases History lists a selection of databases by type of sources and geographic area.
You can locate primary and secondary sources for your research in the Libraries by searching the Chinook library catalog. Chinook Classic contains books, journals, microforms and other materials but NOT articles. Also, sometimes records for individual primary sources contained in electronic databases or microform sets are in Chinook, but most often the intellectual contents are only available in the databases themselves or through microform collection guides (see "Primary Sources on Microforms" below for more information).
As you search Chinook, you will notice that materials may have different locations in the Libraries' system, including Norlin Stacks, PASCAL offsite, Government Information, Special Collections, and Archives. If you are wondering where these locations are, you can consult campus library maps and floor plans. Also, if you click on the location link in the Chinook record in question, you will see the location on a map and/or receive more information about it.
You can locate most relevant items in the Libraries by searching the Chinook library catalog. There are many primary sources available in the Libraries, including documents (books, letters, etc.) from the period under study, as well as electronic, microform, and printed collections of these documents published at a later date.
Do an Advanced Keyword search on your topic. (NB: doing a "Keyword" search will dump you into the Encore rather than Chinook Classic interface.) Notice that you can specify language, location, material type, and year, among other limits. You will get a mixed bag of results including both primary and secondary sources.
There are several ways to limit your search to primary sources:
- Add one of the special subject terms that identify primary sources to your search: sources (more general), correspondence, diaries, narratives, pamphlets, speeches, letters, documents, etc.
- Do an Advanced Keyword search again and try limiting the dates of publication by year, entering the dates bounding your time period. For this search, leave off any special subject terms identifying primary sources from the previous search.
- Another approach is to do an Author search for books written by key participants (people or organizations) in the events you are investigating.
Please note: none of these strategies will net all primary sources, nor will their results necessarily be entirely exclusive of one another. But they will help you identify subsets of primary sources on your topic owned by the Libraries.
The following tips will help you make the most of your Chinook searching.
- Once you have found a useful item on your topic, take note of the Subjects listed in the item's full Chinook record. Click on these links to find related materials.
- If an item is checked out or we do not own it, search the Prospector consortial catalog by clicking the brown "Search Prospector to find it in another library" button that will appear on the left. You can order a copy of what you want online if is available in another Prospector library. Circulation will contact you when it is available for pick-up.
- With journals, be sure to look at the holdings information to make sure we own/offer access to the volume and issue you need. See the section on PASCAL for electronic delivery of articles.
- Use the "Journals/Serials" search to limit your search to journals, newspapers, etc. Make sure to select "All Collections" if you want to switch back to searching the entire catalog.
- Use the "Online Library Resources" search to limit your search to electronic reference works, e-books, etc. Make sure to select "All Collections" if you want to switch back to searching the entire catalog.
- Click the "Find More Resources" button to search for an item in Amazon, look up an encyclopedia article in Encyclopedia Britannica Online, search for full-text, search Google Book Search and Google Scholar, or export a citation into RefWorks bibliographic management software (for more information, see (for more information, see Organizing Your Bibliographic Citations below).
PASCAL is the Libraries' offsite storage facility. You can learn how to request materials from PASCAL by clicking on the "PASCAL offsite" location in the Chinook record. You can order articles for electronic delivery by clicking on the "Request a PDF (UCB only)" button in the record for the print journal (sample record). This Fall the Libraries is piloting a service to deliver all articles electronically whether they are in the building or offsite. You can request this service in the same ways described above. In the pilot phase this service is only available to faculty and graduate students.
The Libraries owns a rich cache of primary sources on microforms that cover all areas of the world. There are different ways you can find out what kinds of sources a microform collection contains, including online guides linked in the Chinook record, printed guides, and tables of contents and indexes that are included on the microforms themselves. Once you have located on what reels items of interest are located, you can order/locate them for viewing.
Microform scanners are available in the Research Area on the second floor of Norlin Library. You can make electronic copies of items on microforms and email or save them to a flash drive for free. Microform readers and printers are also available here and in Government Publications.
Some examples of our microform collections are:
- Indian Political Intelligence (IPI) Files, 1912-1950
- Palestine: The British Mandate, A Collection of Sources from 1917-1940
- Confidential British Foreign Office Political Correspondence: Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1946
Government Information offers a rich array of primary sources for economic history produced by governments and non-government organizations. Ask librarian Jennie Gerke for help locating records of interest to you.
Below is a selection of the databases that the Libraries makes available for your research. If you are not finding relevant sources in these databases or need more material, be sure to look for additional databases on On Find Articles & Databases History as well as under other relevant subjects. You will also want to search the Research & Subject Guides database to find guides with resources related to your topic.
Databases come in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging from those with the full text of primary and secondary sources to those with bibliographic citations to primary and secondary sources. Some offer full-text primary sources that are keyword-searchable and others do not (in which case you need to search records within the database to access the full text). Some indexes have links directly to full text, others use a link resolver ("Find it at CU") to help you find electronic and print full text, and others require you to look in Chinook as a separate step to find the full text.
Though on the face of it a full-text database might always seem like the best source of information, don't be fooled! Sometimes the best source to identify primary and secondary sources on your topic may be an electronic or print index, so choose your databases based on the utility of the content/content indexed for your research, not the form in which the content is delivered.
Indexing with abstracts for literature relating to world history -- excluding the US and Canada -- from 1450 to the present. Covers political, diplomatic, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual history. Literature on the US and Canada are covered in America: History and Life. One or both databases may be searched from the same interface. Coverage: 1955-present. CU
Bibliography of publications relating to the history of the British Isles, and of the British empire and commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available from 55 BC to the present. CU
Bibliography of Asian Studies
References western-language monographs, articles and book chapters on all parts of Asia. Coverage: 1971-present. CU
Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
MECAS is a systematic, and non-evaluative bibliographic index of research, policy, and scholarly discourse on the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. Over 12,000 records of recently published & "gray" literature are added annually. CU
Provides digital materials for reference and research on South Asia including books and journals, full-text dictionaries, bibliographies, images, maps, and statistical information from the colonial period through the present.
Database covering global public policy and social issues including health, finance, economics, education, technology, and the environment for the U.S. and abroad. Covers periodicals, books, hearings, reports, gray literature, government publications, Internet resources, and other publications from 120 countries. Contains more than 1.5 million records dating back to 1915, each with bibliographic information and brief, descriptive abstracts. CU
Humanities Full Text
Abstracts covering diverse subject areas of the humanities. Coverage: 1984-present. Abstracts since 1994. CU
Indexes, abstracts and full-text from periodicals covers areas that include addiction studies, anthropology, criminology, economics, family studies, gerontology, minority studies, policy sciences, political science, psychology, social work, and urban studies. CU
The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
Searchable access to the complete backfile of The Times (London), available in full page images. (For full text of the The Times since 1985, use LexisNexis Academic or ProQuest Newsstand.) CU
Proquest Historical Newspapers
Provides online access to older issues of newspapers, including New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Defender, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Coverage for most newspapers begins from the middle 1800s. CU
A searchable database containing full text images of original manuscripts and printed material, 1492-1969, taken from libraries and archives around the world. It covers Africa, the Americas, Australasia, Oceania and South Asia. CU
This collection is a fundamental resource for study of the modern Middle East and inform the volatile situation in the region today. It includes British Colonial Office and Foreign Office Confidential Print for Afghanistan, Egypt, Sudan, Persia, Suez Canal, Turkey, Jordan, Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Syria. CU
South Asian Newspapers
South Asian Newspapers is the third collection module of World Newspaper Archive. The collection will provide more than 400,000 fully searchable pages of newspapers published in South Asia between 1864 and 1922. CU
The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers are vital to the historical record of Britain, its former Colonies and the wider world. They are among the richest and most detailed primary sources for the history of the past two centuries, and are fundamental to an understanding of current legislation, policy making and the political environment. HCPP online, with searchable full text, and detailed subject indexing, makes it possible to fully exploit the enormous potential of this resource for the first time. CU
Finding Guides to the British Studies Collections in the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries
These guides are the best source for finding primary-source material in the Libraries related to British Studies. They contain entries for primary materials, collections of sources, and some reference or research aids in the CU Boulder Libraries received 2005 or before. They do not list secondary works, standard printed sources such as literary texts, or current scholarly and popular periodicals.
Once you have located periodical material of interest in these databases, if they do not contain a direct link to full text, make sure you have all the relevant citation information. You can print and/or email the citations and abstracts from most of the databases. Your next steps for getting an article are offered via the "Find it at CU" link if it appears in the database:
- Search for an electronic copy of the journal by searching Chinook by ISSN under "Library Catalog"
- Search for a print copy of the journal by searching Chinook by Title under "Library Catalog." If the print is offsite, you can order an electronic copy as described above.
- If no print version is available, order an electronic copy under "Articles" through ILLiad (document delivery/ILL).
Books and Book Chapters
Do a Title search for the book in Chinook to see if the CU Libraries hold it. If not, your next steps for getting a book are:
- Re-run your search in Prospector
- Search for the title in WorldCat and order it through ILLiad
Non-CU Dissertations and Theses
- Search for the title in WorldCat and order it through ILLiad
For more information about the various Interlibrary Loan options mentioned here, select the "Interlibrary Loan" tab on this guide.
If an item is not held by the Libraries, there are various ways you can obtain it through Interlibrary Loan. Please note, however, the decision to loan items is up to the holding library or archive, and many will not loan unique and fragile materials. How much time it takes to fill the request can range from 24 hours to (rarely) never, depending on the item. Articles are generally faster than books because the loaning library might choose to supply them electronically. Below are suggested times you should allow to receive the material via the different delivery methods. If you order it and do not use it, the Libraries will of course have to pay for the loan anyway.
You can initiate requests for all types of materials by submitting a request through the ILLiad interlibrary loan system. Log in using your Identikey, and submit the required information for the items you would like to order. You should allow three weeks to receive the material.
For specific types of material you also have the following options:
If you have searched Chinook and a book or microform is not located in the Libraries, click on the brown Prospector button in the upper right-hand corner of the Chinook search screen. This action will rerun your search in the catalogs of 20+ academic, public, and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. If the item is found, you can order it online through Prospector. You should allow 3-5 days to receive the material.
CRL is a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries that acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery. Its records are loaded into Prospector, and you can request electronically from there. CRL's loan period is much longer than traditional ILL, and purchase requests can be made for materials that fit in with its collections.
If you cannot find an item in Prospector, search WorldCat. It is the closest thing we have to a national union catalog, and it contains records for diverse materials, including books, microforms, archival material, maps, and visual material. WorldCat is a wonderful resource for discovering new and obscure material on your topic. If you find material that is of interest to you, search Chinook and Prospector to be sure CU or another Prospector library does not already own it. If not, you can order the needed materials from ILLiad via a link in WorldCat that will populate the request form with data. You should allow three weeks to receive the material.
If you are in a database, click on "Find it at CU" and follow the "document delivery/ILL" link into ILLiad. Otherwise, go directly into ILLiad to make your request. You should allow a week to receive the material.
Once you have found relevant material, you may wish to manage your bibliographic information using specialized software. The Libraries have subscribed to RefWorks, which is available to all CU students.
For detailed information on adding citations to the database, creating a bibliography, and more in How Do I...Use RefWorks?
Still need help after trying the strategies listed on this guide? Or can't figure out how to use a particular resource? Here are some options for further assistance: