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Brooks Library Research Guides: Historical Methods (Winter 2014)

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Finding books
You can find books at Brooks Library using the Cattrax Online Catalog.

To gather together various books on a given topic, try a subject search. For instance, you can search "Egypt, History" or "Architecture, Medieval" or "Cromwell, Oliver, 1599-1658" to find more resources on these topics.

If you find a book on a topic that interests you, click on the subject headings at the bottom of the record to find similar books (see the example below).



To find a specific type of material (government document, book, DVD, etc.), use the advanced search option in Cattrax. Enter in keywords and select location or material type. For instance, by choosing "Special Collections, 4th floor" (see the example below), you will find books in the Special Collections and Archives at Brooks Library. Because many of these books are older, often you can find primary source material--especially on western American history.



Remember, if you cannot find a book at Brooks Library, you may be able to check it out using Summit. Via Summit, schools throughout the Pacific Northwest have agreed to share books and resources at no cost to students. Request an item from Summit by opening a record and clicking on the request button (see below). Remember that Summit items take 3-5 days to arrive at Brooks Library, where you can pick them up.



If you cannot find books at Brooks or at a Summit library, try requesting them via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). We will make every effort to locate the books/articles you need once you submit an ILL request. 

Finding journal articles
To find journal articles, try a search in one of the databases from this list. Or use one of the suggested options below. This list is not exhaustive but it will give you a starting point in your research.

Research databases
Limit Your Results

Bibliography of Asian Studies
Index of principally western-language articles and book chapters on all parts of Asia published since 1971.

eHRAF World Cultures
Cross-cultural database containing more than 350,000 pages of descriptive information on cultures, diversity and ethnic groups of the world.

Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI)
This database focuses on Latin American arts and letters. It contains complete bibliographic citations to articles, book reviews (through 2001), documents, original literary works, and other materials appearing in more than 500 key social science and humanities journals published since 1970.

JSTOR
Contains the complete back issues of over 600 core scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, the social sciences, as well as the natural and applied sciences.

Project Muse

Provides searchable full text of over 200 scholarly journals from scholarly publishers and covers history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, political science, gender studies, economics, and other subject areas.

Finding newspapers
When searching for newspapers, please note the following: Brooks Library provides many newspapers on microfilm or via database. Universities, national or local libraries may also provide digitized runs of newspapers online. Google also offers an index to many newspapers, as well as digitized editions. The following list of newspaper sources is far from exhaustive, so further exploration may be necessary.

Microfilmed newspapers at Brooks Library
Check with the Government Publications, Maps, and Microforms department on the third floor of Brooks Library to find local, national, and international newspapers on microfilm. Example titles include the London Times (1785-2003), the Wall Street Journal (1889-2010), the New York Times (1857-2010), the Seattle Times (1889-1891, 1895-1896, 1966-2011), and the Ellensburg Daily Record (1938-2005).

Newspaper databases at Brooks Library
Try Newspaper Source Plus for full-text newspapers, providing more than 35 million articles. Or try Newsstand [Proquest], which covers newspapers including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. These databases are useful for contemporary history, as they offer articles published relatively recently.

The Canada Gazette
Official Canadian government newspaper, 1841-1997.

Caribbean Newspaper Digital Library
A cooperative digital library for newspaper resources from the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean.

Connecting Canadians: Canada's Multicultural Newspapers
Multicultural immigrant newspapers in many languages.

Chronicling America, Library of Congress
This site provides access to American newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922. It also provides information about American newspapers published between 1690 and the present.

Google Newspapers
Google offers runs from a variety of newspapers. Some are full-text and some are abstracts only.

Historic Newspapers, Washington State

This website makes available newspapers from across Washington state, circa 1852-1892.

National Library of Australia
Out-of-copyright Australian newspapers. The list of available titles includes more than 500 capital city and rural newspapers.

National Library of Israel
This site contains a collection of Jewish newspapers published in various countries, languages, and time periods.

National Library of Singapore
This site contains current and historic Singapore and Malaya newspapers published from 1831 to 2009.

Student Newspaper Digitization Project, Central Washington University
Copies of CWU's student newspaper are available from 1917 to 2000.

Finding archival collections
To find archival collections in the Pacific Northwest, try using the Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA). NWDA provides guides to collections in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington. If you would like to access a collection, contact the pertinent repository for more information.

To access collections held at Central Washington University, stop by the library's Archives and Special Collections department (4th floor, Brooks Library). You may wish to contact the Archives in advance to indicate your research interests. You can learn what's available at CWU by limiting your NWDA search results to collections at Central Washington University (see below).



To find archival collections from around the United States, search in ArchiveGrid. Here you can find thousands of descriptions for collections held at libraries, museums, and archives across the country. Contact particular collection repositories for more information about accessing materials. 

Finding digital resources
Remember, when searching online, to consider the trustworthiness of websites. URLs ending in .gov (government sites), .edu (sites by universities and educational institutions), and .org (sites by non-profit organizations) will usually yield the most accurate information. You can limit your search results to trustworthy domain names by adding "inurl:edu" or "inurl:gov" or "inurl:org" to your search (see below).



Using this technique, you can find many primary resources online. The following are only a sampling of the sites that offer digital collections of photos, documents, and more.

American Memory
This site by the Library of Congress contains more than 9 million manuscripts, photographs, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and pieces of music pertaining to the history of the United States.

Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy

Yale Law School hosts this collection of primary materials dating from 4000 B.C.E. to the 21st century. Included are the full text of laws, colony charters, acts, and declarations, presidential proclamations, treaties and formal negotiations affecting the United States judiciary system and governmental foreign policy in general.

Central Washington University Digital Collections

These collections highlight the history, nature and culture of Central Washington University and the central Washington region. Featured are CWU yearbooks, newspapers, newsletters, and meeting minutes, as well as photos of campus buildings and surrounding areas.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents from Western Europe
Descriptive directory of links to Western European historical documents. Selected transcriptions, facsimiles and translations.

In the First Person
This site provides an index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives in the English language.

Making of America

This collection of primary resources (including books and articles) covers a variety of topics spanning from 1850 to 1877. Created from the physical collections housed in both the University of Michigan and Cornell University.

World Digital Library
This site makes available, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

World History: A Compendium of Digital Collections

This list of digital collections has been created with funding by the University of New Hampshire Library Digital Collections Initiative. Collections range across topics in world history.

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Talea Anderson
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Tel: (509) 963-1718