Ethnic Studies 191R, Winter 2008

Ethnic Studies 191R, Winter 2008

Research Methodology Seminar: Cultural History

Background Sources
Specialized handbooks, encyclopedias and dictionaries can provide quick assistance.  Look at items near these call numbers for other potential titles.

General guides to American history:

 These sample titles can give you an idea of the variety of background resources the library provides: 



Search Strategy

  • Define your problem
  • Identify synonyms and keywords that describe your topic
  • Construct using 'boolean' operators







1. _________




2. _________




3. _________











  • OR broadens search results. Use it for synonyms representing a single aspect in the strategy above.
  • AND narrows search results. Use it to connect the different aspects in the strategy above.
  • * usually truncates the root word (some resources use different symbols, always check) 

     Example: Chicanos in education -> Chicanos in graduate programs (higher education)

    (Chicanos OR Chicanas OR Mexican Americans OR Latinos OR Latinas)
    (graduate school* OR graduate program* OR graduate degree* OR professional school*)
    (enrollment OR retention OR graduation OR academic achievement)


    Use SCOTTY to find materials in the UCR Libraries, such as books and periodical titles, and to see if they are checked out.

    For additional tips on using SCOTTY, click

    Keyword:     slave songs
    Subject:     education minorities United States
                     minority athletes  (No hits?  Try "Search as Words")
    Title:     Race, culture, and schooling : identities of achievement in multicultural urban schools
    Author:     Pacifica Radio Archives
    Limit/Sort: by year, material type, language, etc...

    Look for books with biblioraphies and references to extend your reseaqrch further.  Sometimes an entire work is a bibliography.  For example, under the heading "Ethnic groups in literature bibliography" is the title American ethnic literatures : native American, African American, Chicano/Latino, and Asian American writers and their backgrounds : an annotated bibliography.

    The catalog for the entire UC system is called

    Primary Sources

    The library web site has a page on Finding Primary Sources .  Be sure you utilize the interactive tutorial, which can be found as a link from that page.  Especially helpful are the pages in the section finding and the page on help.

    Primary source materials are also available in our Map Collection (ground level, Science Library), Government Publications (1st floor, Rivera Library), and Special Collections (4th floor, Rivera Library).  You can obtain assistance from helpful resource people in each of these departments.

    Consider the electronic image, sound, and text resources available to you that are listed on our various pages under "Databases By Subject", e.g., "
    Images", "Music & the Arts", and the "Online Texts" portion of "History".  Be sure to check these titles and descriptions.   To name just a few: 

  • AccuNet/AP MultiMedia Archive
  • African American Song
  • American Memory(Library of Congress)
  • In the First Person 
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries
  • Prints and Photographs Online Catalog(Library of Congress)
  • ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Policial and Social Research Data Archive (UCR is an ICPSR member institution.  See Sociology Department.) The link to this site is under "Sociology" of the Databases By Subject: Psychology & Sociology page.

Here are some links to web pages that discuss polls and public opinion:

Another resource to consider is Calisphere "the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources". Of interest is the "California Cultures" section, about which you can read here.

Many primary source materials are included in

major microform sets.  Before exploring these titles, compare them with what might be available online to determine which version you plan to use (such as the list in the "Online Texts" portion of the "History" section in "Databases By Subject" mentioned above).

Sometimes there are guides to these various resources.  For example,

American Periodicals, 1741-1900: an index to the microfilm collections... Riv Ref Z6951 H65 [Note that this collection is also available full-text online.]

  • American Diaries, an annotated bibliography of published American diaries and journals.  vol. 2 covers Diaries Written from 1845-1980

Riv Ref Z5305 U5 A74 1983

  • The Papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1957. A guide to the field notes.  10 vols.  Riv Ref E54 H37 1981  (which is the guide to the microfilm reels of the papers at Rivera Microfilm 525) This set was acquired as part of the UC Shared Purchase project.  All of the UC campus libraries have a copy of the guide to the set.  The microfilm set is housed at UC Riverside.
  • Slavery, a bibliography and union list of the microform collection.  Materials in this guide/index are located at UC Santa Barbara.  Riv Ref Z7164 S6 M53 1980

At the UCR Libraries, newspapers will be found in paper (recent), microfilm, and electronic formats.  Most of the electronic newspaper indexes we carry will also offer electronic full-text of the newspaper articles.  Not all newspapers are available electronically, nor are all of them indexed.  To see what newspaper index databases UCR carries, go to the Libraries Home Page, click on "Databases by Subject", and select the category of "Newspapers".  For example:  

Academicvia Lexis Nexis

  • Access World NewsCollection (NewsBank)
  • African American Newspapers  
  • Historical Newspapers Online (4 resources)
  • Los Angeles Times
  • New York Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • London Times Digital Archive
  • The electronic resources Ethnic Newswatch provides full text access to newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press.

Note that newspaper articles are considered primary sources, whereas magazine and journal articles and books are considered secondary sources (unless they are interviews, reports of eyewitness accounts, autobiographies, or diaries, etc.).


Journals and Magazines

Magazine and journal articles may be available in several formats: electronic, print, and, less commonly, in microformat (e.g., microfilm or microfiche).  Once you have your citations, to find the print versions of your articles, see the "Location of Materials" section below.  Electronic versions of articles might be available via a link in SCOTTY, a direct link from the various article index databases, or through the   UC-eLinks 
button appearing next to the citation in an article index database.

If you know the name of a resource you wish to use, you can go to the "Databases A-Z" list from the Libraries' web site.  Or, you can go to "
Databases By Subject" and select the categories listed there.  Examine the resources in the following categories: "Ethnic Studies", "History", "Images", "Film & Media Studies", "Music & the Arts", "Women & Gender Studies", "Psychology & Sociology", "Education", "Literature & Languages", "Philosophy & Religion"...  For example: 

America: History and Life

  • ATLA (Religion Index) 
  • Black Studies Center
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete
  • Contemporary Women's Issues
  • GenderWatch 

Latino Literature

  • Oxford African American Studies Center 
  • RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1950)
  • Smithsonian Global Sound

Remote Access

Scotty and Melvyl are freely accessible from home. 

To utilize the Library's subscription databases, see Connect from Home

Locate Materials (UCR), Borrow Items (Elsewhere), Technology in the Library
Arrangement of items in the library are usually: alphabetical, numeric, or by call number.  For most of the books, the Libraries uses the Library of Congress call number and classification system, sometimes referred to as "LC".  The call number is an address that tells you where the book is located.  (For practice with call numbers, go to the following links, basic and advanced.  Click here for an explanation of how to read a call number.)

Periodicals (aka magazines and journals) are arranged in two major ways:  recent issues are in alphabetical order in the Current Periodicals Room (in Rivera, that's on the 1st Floor); older issues are in call number order interfiled with the books in the regular collection ("stacks").  Look for periodical titles at UCR in the SCOTTY catalog.  Click here find out about the Periodicals and Microforms section of Rivera library.

Use a floor map to identify the location codes and call numbers within the libraries (available at public service desks), or click
here to see the maps available on our web site (Rivera and Science).

Remember: your UCR ID card is your library card.  Circulation Services can tell you about your borrowing privileges and local transactions.  Consult them to see if your UCR card will allow you borrowing privileges at other libraries.

Interlibrary Loans is another service you can use for items UCR does not own.  For information about this service, click
here.  Another similar service is LINK+.

Follow this link for help with
technology in the library, including printing, saving your documents on the public workstations, laptops (DCHP, wireless, and library laptops to check out), scanning, and more.

Document Your Sources
A word about plagiarism. 
Citing your work.  For the Chicago Manual of Style, click here

Get Help
For information on the different ways you can get help, click here.

JL 1/08


Last modified: 1/4/2013 11:45 AM by A. Frenkel

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