Research Workshop
African American History, 1619-1865





Sara Powell
Reference & Instruction Resident Librarian

Sarah Elichko
Social Sciences & Data Librarian

Today's workshop

• Ways to find interesting primary sources

• How to choose better search terms
• Using specialized research tools for historians

Finding interesting primary sources

A specialized website is often more useful than a general Google search.

- Databases of historical newspaper articles
- Online collections of correspondence and personal papers
- Digitized transcripts from Congressional hearings and other government documents

Go forth + get your book!  (and bring it back with you)

Work in pairs (+ one group of three)

//  To find the right floor, look at the first letter of your call number.


Books in McCabe

• A-E --> Lower Level
• F-K --> Level 2
• L-Z --> Level 3


Find one good source --> find others

//  Research strategy //
Use one good source (+ Tripod) to find others


1. Search for your book in Tripod.

2. Look at the information and

    links provided in the Tripod

    record for your book.

3. See if you can find similar and related works.

          (Open each in a new tab.)


Work on this for a few minutes. We'll discuss afterward.



Tripod record --> other works

Similar Items

Subjects / subject headings




Call # browse

How do you choose better search terms?

Consider whether you're looking for primary or secondary sources

One approach:  subjects + advanced search


​Keywords, subjects, genre terms


Specialized research tools for historians:

Primary source databases
e.g. African American Newspapers


Scholarly journal article databases
e.g. America, History and Life


Find these and other research tools on the guide for History 007A.


As you're working on your research project for this class:

- Start with the History 007 research guide

- Talk with a librarian for ideas and advice

         - Sara Powell
         - Sarah Elichko

History 007A​ - African American History

By Swarthmore Reference

History 007A​ - African American History

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