Skip to main content

COVID-19 Update: Although the Gould Library building remains closed, the library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

HIST 219: Is Obama Black? American Mixed Race History

Professor Harry Williams -- Spring 2016

Use Your Secondary Literature

Read bibliographies and notes of secondary literature carefully.  Historians carefully document their sources in footnotes and bibliographies. You can get a sense of the scholars writing in your field, the kinds of questions that have characterized debates about your topic, methodological and theoretical approaches.  Similar, you can learn a lot about primary sources relevant for your research.  This is helpful not only for identifying specific primary sources, but you can also get a general sense of the kinds of sources historians have used to research a topic.

 

Reference Works -- A Selection

Use these resources to get an overview of topics related to your research, to familiarize yourself with names, places, concepts important to your topic, and to get recommendations for books and articles on your topic. Return to them as you are refining your topic, or as you need clarification while doing your research.