History of Food

Research Workshop
October 3, 2016
 

 

History 001m

Sarah Elichko - Social Sciences Librarian
 

Today's workshop:

Ways to find interesting primary sources

 

How to choose better keywords and improve your research skills

 

Tips for navigating McCabe and finding scholarly sources

"Algorithmic mining of large electronic databases has been quietly central to the humanities for two decades. We call this practice “search,” but “search” is a deceptively modest name for a complex technology that has come to play an evidentiary role in scholarship."

"In practice, a full-text search is often a Boolean fishing expedition for a set of documents that may or may not exist..."

-  Ted Underwood, "Theorizing Research Practices We Forgot to Theorize Twenty Years Ago"

"Algorithmic mining of large electronic databases has been quietly central to the humanities for two decades. We call this practice “search,” but “search” is a deceptively modest name for a complex technology that has come to play an evidentiary role in scholarship."

"In practice, a full-text search is often a Boolean fishing expedition for a set of documents that may or may not exist..."

Two main types of searches:

• Known item

• Discovery / exploration

Finding interesting primary sources:
A specialized website is often more useful than a general Google search.

{ primary sources }

Finding articles from historical magazines + periodicals:

• Start with the Research Guide for this course.

• Choose the American Periodicals Series (click on the S)

 

• Try searching for a single keyword related to your topic.

• If you find an interesting article, view the PDF scan.


(No results for your term?  Consider spelling variations, synonyms, and related words.)
    

Developing your skills as a researcher - learning to search more effectively

Keep track of your research process, step by step. Write down:

      - What database did you search?  For what?
      - The search term(s) you tried
              see: Search History / Recent Searches
       - Looking at the results, do you see anything that

         might inform your next search?

               e.g. spelling variations, names, places,  

                    synonyms, broader or narrower terms

{ searching more effectively }

 

Use what you've learned in one step of the research process to inform your next step.


Let's try searching another database of primary sources: America's Historical Newspapers.

 

 

 

 

{ searching more effectively }

Consider using reference materials to help generate relevant keywords.
- Take a reference book and turn to the index.
- Look up your food/ingredient.
      - Note page #s (if any)
      - If needed, check synonyms and related terms

What might you find?  -- example: rye
- “Rye whiskey production centered in MD and PA...Scotch-Irish immigrants…"
- A sandwich or a Manhattan?  - dishes, cuisines, cultural associations
- "Rye whiskey was for many years America’s most popular spirit"

Navigating McCabe, finding books:

Start with Tripod:
        Under Books & More, click "More catalog results"

        Narrow your results using limits (on the left.)

When you find a good book:

       Check to see if it's in McCabe (get call number)

       If B or H, use link to request it. (usually delivered 1 day)
 

Finding scholarly articles - databases
 

Get research advice for your project:

 

Sarah's office hours - at McCabe Research & Info Desk
       Wednesdays, 1-3 pm


Also available to talk at other times -

       Email selichk1@swarthmore.edu with questions
       or to make an appointment.