Research Workshop:
Remembering History


Simon Elichko (they/them)
Social Sciences & Data Librarian

Celia Caust-Ellenbogen (she/her)
Associate Curator, Friends Historical Library

Today's workshop:

  • Navigating McCabe and resources from the TriCo Libraries, including Special Collections

  • Ways to find interesting primary sources

  • How to get more relevant results when searching for sources (primary and secondary)

  • Time to talk about your project and possible sources with Celia and Simon


Finding Books in McCabe

Work in pairs. Take your book slip and find your book in the library, then bring it back here.

Look up your book in:




What are the Subjects listed?


Finding primary sources

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

Primary Sources: Newspapers

• Start with the Research Guide for this course.
       ( > Research Guides)

• On guide, go to: Searching Newspapers & Magazines

Look for news on your topic. Start by searching:
Historical & Current Newspapers (via Proquest)

Compare your results with a search in:
Access World News

Narrowing & Choosing Primary Sources

• How many results?

     - Smaller number ---> look through + evaluate
                                                      (or expand search)

     - Larger number   ---> filter results and/or narrow search

• Where are they coming from?

     - Sources / Publications  (e.g. New York Times)

             - Type of publication?  (e.g. major US daily newspaper)
              - Audience (nationwide, specific community focus)

     - Places  (e.g. New York, NY)
     - Dates  (e.g. article published on June 28, 1914)

Improve your results: News

• Search only within: Headlines, Lead
       (or, in ProQuest: "Anywhere but full text")

• Add a keyword like:

    remember, memorialize, commemorate

Filter search results by:
• Publication type or title
• Date range (narrow if possible)

• Document your process

• Save consistently

• Annotate sources

Three ways to stay organized
while doing research: 

{ ideas, searches, sources }

{ done & to-do }

{ while you still remember }

Primary Source Timeline

Research Journal

How to choose better keywords and find relevant scholarly sources:


Let's try searching America, History and Life -
a specialized database for finding scholarly journal articles on American history.

Research advice tailored to your project:

Simon Elichko (Social Sciences Librarian)


• Schedule an appointment online
       -- see link on HIST 001R Research Guide

• Email:

Utilize Swarthmore College Special Collections


• Find materials: go to Tripod and scroll down to "Explore our Collections"; link to Digital Collections or Archives & Manuscripts Catalog

• Schedule an appointment online to visit the Special Collections Reading Room (on your left when you enter McCabe)
       -- Link on HIST 001R Research Guide

• Questions? Email Celia,