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HIST 263: Plagues of Empire

Professor Amna Khalid -- Spring 2023

Use Your Secondary Literature

  • Historians carefully document their sources in footnotes and bibliographies. You can get a good sense of not only specific primary sources that may allow you to explore a topic, but you can also get a general sense of the kinds of sources historians have used to research a topic.
  • From the secondary literature, you can identify individuals, places, institutions, and organizations important to your topic. This information will assist you in searching for primary sources in online catalogs.

Catalyst and specialized databases

info_outline Search Catalyst for CDs, DVDs, LPs, and streaming audio and video held by St. Olaf and Carleton.
info_outline Search or browse research and how-to guides curated by your librarians.

Databases and journal archives allow you to search the contents of journals (articles, book reviews).  As such, they provide a good avenue for searching the most recent scholarship in a field.

TIP: Add the keywords "historiography" or "review article" to your searches to find articles whose primary focus is historiography.  These articles can be good starting points. 

Book Reviews

Book reviews often talk about the reviewed work in the context of the larger field in which the book is situated. As such, you can use them to get clues about the state of a field on a given topic.

Many of the databases above allow you to limit your search just to reviews. If you don't see this option, add the key words "review" or "review article" to your search.