Title Text


Library Workshop

Me, your librarian

Finding and evaluating information

John Dingle

Help with....

Refining a research topic

Managing and citing sources

  • 2000-2500 words
  • 8+ sources
    • Book, journal article, primary source
    • Be judicious in the use of web resources

Research Paper

  • Library search tools
  • Search strategy and techniques
  • Primary sources
  • Evaluating and navigating web resources
  • Managing your sources


Library Search Tools

Broadest search


Filters to narrow results





Omni - try it yourself

1. Find the book Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World. Is it available? How would you get it?


2. What is the name of a peer-reviewed journal article written by Steven Shapin in the last five years? What journal was it published in?



Omni - a few tricks!

Learn more about Omni

Subject-specific search engines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Journal articles


Book chapters



Coverage: all time periods

Limited to:

2 simultaneous users

Other Databases

  • Historical Abstracts
    • world history
  • America: History and Life
    • history of North America
    • multidisciplinary
  • Early English Books Online (EEBO)
    • digitized printed works from 1473 - 1700
  • ARTStor
    • digitized images

Search Strategy

1. Search techniques and keywords

2. Finding related items with subject headings



Go to JSTOR (hint: it's a "database")

With a partner, compare the results of each pair of searches.

Which returns more results? Can you explain the difference?


1. middle ages VS "middle ages"

2. islam VS islam*

3. indigenous OR native VS indigenous AND native


  1. Use quotation marks for phrase searches:  “early modern”
  2. Use truncation for variant word endings: arab* retrieves arab, arabs, arabic, arabian

  3. Use OR for synonyms:  indigenous OR native

  4. Use AND to combine two different concepts:  slaves AND missionaries


Subject Headings

Subject headings are a powerful way to find related items 

Primary sources

  • Published collections


  • Primary source databases

Primary sources

Add one of the following terms to your search in Omni. They work best when you add them to a "subject" box:

  • personal narratives
  • sources ***
  • diaries
  • letters
  • correspondence
  • interviews

Primary sources

Primary Source Databases

Digitized copies of English-language print books from Britain, Ireland, and North America 1473-1700

Title Text


Library Tutorial

Digitized copies of English-language print books from Britain, Ireland, and North America 1473-1700

  • 146,000 works
  • 17 million pages
  • 70 years to scan and produce metadata
  • All full-text searchable and scanned images


How to:

  • Navigate the interface
  • Find specific works
  • Search across the entire collection and within works


Early English Books Online

  • 146,000 titles
  • 17 million pages
  • 70 years to scan and produce metadata
  • All full-text searchable and scanned images



Go to EEBO


Find this book: Edward Topsell, The history of four-footed beasts and serpents… 


Find an animal mentioned in Topsell


Find another book which mentions the same animal published AFTER Topsell's book

EEBO - learn more


Please be back in 10 minutes

Evaluating Websites


Why does this resource exist?


Who wrote/produced/published it?


How current is it?


Are the author’s claims supported by evidence?

Based on York University SPARK handout: yorku.ca/spark/books_journals_more/PARCA%20Test_Final.pdf


Evaluating Websites - samples


Download the website evaluation activity here:



Complete individually, then compare with a partner. Discuss any differences in your analysis.

Navigating Websites

  • Look for navigation cues - edges of screen
  • Search on large pages - CTRL-F, Command-F
  • Be flexible
  • Use the browser URL, especially for older sites


Follow the instructions for your group here:

1 - bit.ly/2RqQzsk

2 - bit.ly/2RTwvnl

3 - bit.ly/2CL0zac

Be prepared to demonstrate your process in front of the class.

Managing your sources


  • Add sources as you find them
  • Store, organize, take notes on them
  • Generate and format citations in Chicago style

Research Guide

Research Help

Thank you!