Start with a general topic
- Choose a topic based on the assignment and personal interest (start broad).
- Create a work plan that includes: due dates, assignment length and scope, types of sources needed.
Do Background Research
- Search for secondary sources (books, articles, online content) using the library’s online catalog and databases
- Narrow the topic by asking questions like Who, What, Where, When.
- Examine the footnotes and bibliographies of the relevant sources to find additional books, articles, or archival sources
- Consult a reference librarian or professor for help with search strategies or help refining your topic
Search for Archival Sources
- Not sure where to start? Search large Archive Databases like Worldcat or Archive Grid
- Once you've identified a collection, search their catalog (if available), finding aids, or research guides
- Create a list of resources you want to view (include titles and collection identifiers)
- Contact the Archive to discuss collections, search strategies, or to make a research appointment
- Prepare a list of boxes and folders to view
At the Archives
- Schedule a research appointment (1-2 hour time slot)
- Take Notes!! Keep track of box and folder info for research paper citations
- Evaluate the sources for authenticity, biases, missing perspectives
- Ask Questions!! Archivists are there to help.