RIA Dinner #3: Thinking Outside the Tripod Box

Spring 2015

Tonight we will...

  • Welcome Tess to the RIAs!

  • Explore several different web resources for research:                                  Google / Internet Archive / Digital Public Library of America / Amazon / Worldcat / Reddit / HathiTrust

  • Discuss a few things coming up in the McCabe pipeline




On making the most out of  Google

what's your favorite google search trick / tip?

• emphasis & google search •

focus on recently updated websites

google default // your emphasis


focus on websites from a particular place

google default //

focused (via advanced search) //

focused (via TLD)


focus on types of documents/files

google default //

give me a pdf

internet archive

• the internet archive •


can be used to find or browse books, videos, audio (etc.)

on almost any topic...


particularly useful for finding or browsing books and other materials published pre-1923



so how do i search it?


going back in time



Sample research question:

"I'm researching NASA and the Space Race during the Cold War era, and am doing my paper on how space exploration in news media discourse served as a kind of nationalist propaganda. Can you help me find sources?"

The Digital Public Library (DPLA):

A Digital Archive of American Cultural Heritage





What it includes:

  • digitized books, images, moving images, text, and physical objects


How it can be useful:

  • finding primary sources not included in Swarthmore's archives                    


Using commercially-minded algorithms




What it includes:

  • Well...everything. For research purposes, it is most useful when  searching for books and films. 


How it can be useful:

  • More natural language searching           
  •  Similar items searching 
  •  Finding titles not owned by the TriCo                                                 


One database to rule them all



What it includes:

  • Records to the holdings of tens of thousands of libraries, all over the world


How it can be useful:

  • Gathering LCSH terms for more precise searching           
  •  Gauging availability

hathi trust





Your turn!

  • Get into groups of two.

  • Research a reference question using one of the resources we talked about today. Use Google only as a last resort!
  • Share what you found with the group.