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History Summer Research Fellows

Welcome!

This guide was created for the History Department's 2020 Summer Research Fellows. The information on this guide is specific to individual research projects students are working towards. 

Tips for Searching Effectively

Searching in DELCAT:

  • Place quotation marks around keyword phrases

"trench warfare"
"Iranian Coup"

  • Capitalize Boolean logic connectors (AND, OR).

narrative OR plot
"American Involvement" AND World War I

  • Click either "View all formats and languages" or "View all editions" to view all library holdings for a particular title.
  • Items at UD appear first in the list of search results. Other items can be requested via interlibrary loan.

Advanced Search Tips for DELCAT:

  • Type au:, su: or ti: before your keywords to specify author, subject or title words.

su:American Revolution

Articles:

Finding articles within databases and journals is not the same process you would use to conduct a search in Google or an internet search engine. You cannot type in a question, but rather need to choose specific keywords and phrases to find results. These tips are similar to how you would search for material in DELCAT Discovery. 

Helpful Ways to Search: 

  • Use quotations around a phrase to "tell" the database or journal that you want these words to remain together.
    • Ex: "American exceptionalism" 
  • Think of synonyms to your keywords...Especially when conducting historical research, you may need to develop words and phrases that were used during that particular time period, rather than modern-day words.
    • Ex: World War I; First World War; The Great War - All would give you different results! 
  • Use AND/OR to connect words, concepts, and phrases together to receive specified results.
    • Ex: World War I AND United States

Use the Advanced Search option in databases and journals to narrow down by date, region, type of document, and more! 

Primary Sources: 

Finding primary sources is a multi-step process. There is no "one-stop-shop" database that will give you everything you need for your research. Follow these tips: 

  • Look at the bibliographies and footnotes from articles and books to see what primary sources those scholars are using for evidence
  • Think and research multiple institutions, archives, or repositories that could have information and collections about your project
  • Use historical language 
  • Keep it simple

When searching for primary source collections online, include the following additional phrases with your first key words: 

  • online collections
  • digital collections
  • digitized collections
  • historical collections

Be aware that digital collections only show a small portion of what an institution holds!