Carmichael Library, like almost any academic institution, has some primary materials of the prominent historical figures bound in book format. Examples include:
But don't overlook biographies or other works as they can give helpful clues. For example, the book George Washington's War by Bruce Chadwick, published in 2004, contains an extensive bibliography. Broken into source sections, the first batch of listed material are 'Archival Sources' and very worthwhile search terms for Google.
The Carmichael Library uses the Library of Congress classification system to catalogue books. Below is a list of guides to interpreting the call numbers and finding books on the shelf.
Periodically, Carmichael Librarians will recommend influential books to read. Think of this section as a "Staff Picks" list in your favorite independent bookstore
This is the excerpted bibliography from George Washington's Wikipedia entry. At the top is a link to George Washington sources pointed out during our library session.
At the bottom, you'll find "External Links." Among those are links to GW's State of the Union Addresses and Masonic Correspondence at Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is an effort to centrally locate the texts of all primary and secondary materials in the public domain (copyright is no longer applicable). Also, there are scanned versions of George and Martha Washington's respective wills made available through the Internet Archive.
Photo by rhousewright at Flickr
How can you tell if a book is scholarly? The best way to tell is to look at who publishes it. If it's published by a university press or by several other academic presses (e.g., Blackwell, Routledge, Palgrave, Ashgate) it is scholarly. There are other presses that publish scholarly books as well, depending on the discipline. Another way to decide is to look at the book's intended audience and purpose.
How are scholarly books different from regular books? Scholarly books are published regardless of whether or not they will make money. In fact, most scholarly books actually loose a lot of money. Instead, scholarly books exist to contribute to knowledge, and they support the research of academics and scholars at all levels. All other books at least have an ostensible goal of making money.
Who decides whether or not a scholarly book gets published? Editors at scholarly publishers express initial interest in a book, but they don't make the final decision. All scholarly books go through an extensive process in which experts in the field read the manuscripts and decide if the book is worthy to be published. In other words, scholarly books are peer reviewed sources.
What are the features of scholarly books?
This guide is a starting point for identifying, locating, and evaluating materials relating to the study of History in Carmichael Library, in academic libraries throughout the globe using WorldCat, and material available on the Internet. If you need additional assistance please contact Mr. Carey Heatherly, Reference Librarian and University Archivist.
You have two distinct advantages with this assignment; 1.) the Founding Fathers are biggies in the field of US History and 2.) that means almost any book you pick up, no matter the date, will point to a collection of primary materials that is now most likely digitized and availble online. Also, many of the Founding Father's papers are published in book form and are available at most academic libraries.
This guide uses George Washington, your first topic, as an example. By no means exhaustive, think of the guide as a 'cheat sheet' indicating possible tools and search strategies for locating primary source collections.
Once you find a book in the catalogue that you know will help you with your research, you should try to find other books with the same Library of Congress subject headings. What does this mean? Watch the video below.
Click on the lower right-hand corner of the video player to view in full-screen format.
Google is a powerful search engine if you know how to manipulate search terms. Here are a few that are applicable to this assignment.
Instead of just typing George Washington's name into Google, researcher's have the ability qualify a search on our first president. If terms are couched in quotations, Google knows you are looking for those terms exactly as they appear and in the order they appear. So 'Googling' George Washington searches for George Washington, George Washington Carver, Washington state and D.C., and the film George Washington. However, "George Washington" will eliminate some of this clutter. Adding addtional terms, like Virginia, with plus sign ("George Washington" +Virginia) tells Google you seek sites about George Washington which contain the word Virginia. Additionally, use the minus sign to exclude certain results. -Carver and -University will ignore many sites about George Washinton Carver and George Washington University.
Google will also limit searches to certain domains, .edu, .gov, .org. To do this, simply add site:.edu to the beginning of any term. For example, site:.edu "George Washington" +Virginia tells the engine to return results for George Washington which contain the word Virginia and are educational websites/pages.
I suggest beginning your Google searches by broadly combing domains, site:.edu "George Washington" and then use additional terms to narrow and focus. Google allows searchers to be as broad or narrow as possible and multiple strategies may be utilized in one query (site:.edu "george washington -carver -university).
For a bibliography see George Washington bibliography
What is an annotated bibliography?
Chicago-Turabian Footnote and Endnote Citation Tutorial (Please note this is the first installment of a series of video tutorials)
If you are looking for books and don't know where to begin, you can search within these call number ranges.
Refer to the Library of Congress Classification Outline for more information.
WORLD HISTORY AND HISTORY OF EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, ETC.
HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS (E=America and F=U.S. local history, Canada, Latin America)
AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTOR
Dr. Day mentioned The Avalon Project. This is Yale Law School Library's effort to create a digital library relating to history, primarily legal and diplomatic history. Think Bill of Rights, Magna Carta, Vetoes, Presidential Addresses, etc.
This provides another good example of "Googling." Simply search "George Washington" +avalon.
At the graduate level, students should have a firm grasp on what is and what is not scholarly information and should also know when to seek help or guidance. As we all know, Wikipedia is neither a reliable nor stable resource and should not be used as such. However, Wikipedia can be a valuable tool for locating resources.
Offers explanations for changes in rules and other basic information concerning this tool.
Build your citation using this web-based form from Calvin College Hekman Library
Get writing and citing help from your campus writing center!
An online tool designed to guide users using explanations and examples of formatting rules.
Don't do it.
These web sites are designed to help you avoid plagiarism in your own work. For more information on accurately citing sources, consult a librarian or your professor.