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Gould 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 100: Exploration, Science, and Empire

Prof. Tony Adler - Fall 2021

Types of Sources

Think of the paper you're writing as a story that you are narrating. In this story, you want both primary and secondary sources. Your job as a scholar of history is to weave together primary and secondary sources to make a new, coherent argument.

  • Primary source = A book, article, picture, letter, document, or other item that was produced in the past. 
  • Secondary source = Scholarship that is reflecting back upon and analyzing something that happened in the past.
  • Reference source = Books or databases that contain quick facts, short essays, bibliographies, descriptions of trends in scholarship. 
  • Database = An organized place this information is stored online. 

How to browse for a book

Browsing the shelves

The books in the library are shelved in call number order, so books on a similar topic are shelved together. Take time to look at the books shelved near books that you've found. You can also use Catalyst to virtually browse the shelves: click on a record for a print book title (ebooks are not included in this feature) and scroll down to Virtual Browse to see books that would be shelved nearby.


[visual description: screen shot showing book titles in the Catalyst virtual browse]


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