My Favorite History Resources – Today we tackle the electronic databases

As a librarian, I’m sure it’ll come as no shock that my favorite part of crafting a book is the research.

So many might ask… how on earth does someone find research on an esoteric topic on something the Celts (especially the Gael culture).

library pic

Many people might be surprised, but a lot of librarians love these kind of questions.  In fact we also enjoy showing how we got the answer, at least I do.

So… here are some basic research tools that you can use

1.  World History Collection

Generally most reference databases aren’t free to everybody… but the great news is if you have a library card chances are you will have access to them both at the library and at home.

When you go into it, you’ll see a list of subjects like automotive, medical, genealogy, and history.  One of my favorites is EBSCOHost’s World History Collection mostly because it’s user-friendly and patrons can pick it up quickly.

Once you have the database up, you can put in a topic or use boolean phrases.  If you don’t have a clue what I’m writing about, either call the library or go find a reference staff member.  They’re there to help and generally get all excited once they figure out you aren’t asking about the copier or how to print.  Generally they’ll take you into the advanced search, so you can find the latest and the greatest in terms of research.  While it might be interesting to find an old article about the Gaels mythology, you may wind up with something from the 19th century.  If that floats your boat, great, but if you want new information that’s accepted by scholars of today, you may want to try to limit the years of the search.

I’d also make sure that you click on the checkbox for ‘full text’.  That’ll make things a lot easier unless you’re doing a search to find print documents that may or may not be available at your local library.

Just for S & G’s I decided to type one of my typical searches…’celts’.  This search will bring up a huge number of results but sometimes that’s okay.

One of the first articles that comes up is

 

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