Use the Library website to find journal articles
Begin your search at the library homepage. From the LibrarySearch box, you can find books, journals, and other resources in our library catalogue in addition to searching for articles across multiple databases.
In the LibrarySearch box, type in the keywords relevant to your research topic.
For example, if your topic is about the Catholic ran residential schools in Canada, you can enter the keywords
Catholic residential schools Canada
You will get a list of results such as Articles, Books, Reviews, and more! To find scholarly articles, underneath Filter your results select "Peer-reviewed articles" under Show Only and select "APPLY FILTERS" when prompted.
Narrow down your list to get better articles
Sometimes you will get hundreds of results. Use the filters in the left hand sidebar to narrow down your list of sources. You can filter your search results by Subject, Publication Date, and Language
Use the Library website to find books
In the library homepage search box, type in the keywords relevant to your research topic. When searching for books, remember to use simple, broad keywords.
From the list of results, underneath Filter your results on the left sidebar select "Books" under Format and select "APPLY FILTERS" when prompted to see the the library catalogue search results.
Narrow down your list of books
You can refine your search with various filters on the left sidebar, such as Library, Subject, Publication Date, and Language.
For ebooks, you can also click on the Online checkbox at the top of the page underneath show only.
Use the Library website to find biographies
To find biographical dictionaries in the library catalogue, do a keyword search, as follows:
Enter the 'name of the country' and 'biography' and 'dictionary'
Example: india biography dictionary
To find biographical monographs in the library catalogue, enter the name of the person and the keyword 'biography.' To focus, once you are in the catalogue, choose biography under subjects on the side menu.
Example: Louis Riel biography
Use the Library website to find encyclopedias and dictionaries
Exploring your topic means finding introductory information to help you broaden or narrow your topic, while also providing keywords and terms needed to conduct further research.
Encyclopedias can be a useful tool to find introductory information on a topic to assist you with researching. Encyclopedias are highly recommended as a starting point for your research on a particular topic.
Using and Finding Encyclopedias
Encyclopedia articles are not research resources, though they may summarize research on a topic. Use them for background and for references to other sources, but generally don't quote them in your paper. This is as true for library resources as it is for Wikipedia.
You'll need to be careful then not to unconsciously use the ideas from encyclopedias without attribution.
Recommended Reference Sources
Use the Library website to find Microform
Robarts Library also houses a vast microform (microfilm, microfiche, microtext) collection which includes nearly 3-million items, ranging from historical documents to contemporary newspapers, both domestic and international. For more information on microform see the microform guide.
Try narrowing your research by:
Why should you use subject specific databases?
The library catalogue may produce too many search results
You want to search for more specific time periods
Why would you need to consult a theses for history research?
Theses and Dissertations
For more information see the Theses and Dissertation library guide (U of T Libraries)
A primary source is a document that was created at the time of the event or subject you've chosen to study, or by people who were observers of, or participants in that event or topic
Think about what kinds of primary sources might be related to your topic:
Four ways to find primary sources:
1. Start with what you already have to uncover references to primary sources. Consult your:
They can also help you identify relevant historical figures, authors, or keywords for searching library database
2. Use the library catalogue to find books and other materials
Combine keywords for different kinds of primary sources with keywords for your topic to find them in the library catalogue.
world war 1942 correspondence
national socialism documents
Primary source keywords
3. Use reliable online primary source collections
Recommended Open-access Resources
Images, Oral History, Audio Visual
See the Image and Visual Resource Collections guide for comprehensive links to image and visual resource databases.
Oral history may be in manuscript, print, microform, audio, or video format. It may be identified through a variety of tools throughout this guide, using relevant keywords.
For example, to find oral histories in the library catalogue, use keywords such as the following with your subject:
Use the Library website to find Newspapers
For newspaper databases and tips on searching for newspapers take a look at this guide: Newspapers Current and Historical
Recommended Open-access Resources
When choosing books or articles for your paper, consider the following:
Scholarly journal articles report on original research by experts in a particular academic discipline. Often they go through a peer-review process, which means that they are evaluated by reputable scholars in the field before they are published.
For more resources on researching and writing in history search the library catalogue for:
or include subject headings such as:
Books From the Library
How do I get the full text?
This guide is currently maintained by Jesse Carliner. Please send any suggestions, comments, and reports of broken links to firstname.lastname@example.org
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