This guide will assist you in locating published scholarship (books and journal articles) to read on a topic. Choose a topic that is interesting to you and which will work within your assignment's parameters.
First, read a good summary of the topic in a subject encyclopedia, like those listed below. Second, once you have a basic overview of the topic then search for published scholarship, using catalogs to find scholarly books, and databases to find scholarly journal articles.
Remember to evaluate the accuracy of your resources, and think critically about their content and arguments. When in doubt, check with your History instructor.
Subject encyclopedias and other reference guides can provide good background information on a topic. Many reference books are in printed format, while others are available in electronic resource collections such as:
Primary sources are documents that date from the time period being studied, immediate to the events under investigation. These can include letters, diaries, business records, government papers, laws, treaties, etc. The usual subheading for primary sources in library catalogs is “sources”. Sample subject headings include:
United States -- History -- 1865-1898 -- Sources
New York (State) -- History -- Sources
New York, N. Y. -- History -- Sources
To find published books of photographs, use a library catalog, such as the CUNY Catalog. Perform keywords searches to combine a geographic place with a word that designates a photograph. For example, any of the following searches will retrieve books that are books of photographs:
Brooklyn and photographs
Queens and "pictorial works"
For a place like New York city, which technically is designated "New York, N. Y." it can be more difficult to narrow a search because the phrase "New York" can appear in other contexts, not just "New York" as a geographic place to be researched. So, use the 'Keyword in Title' search to make sure the words are only searched in the Titles of materials:
"New York" and photographs