When searching for background and analysis on an event or
movement that happened in the past –
such as the Vietnam War, the abolition of slavery, “the
Sixties,” the farm worker’s movement – your best sources
will still be BOOKS. In the decades (or more) since the
event happened, scholars have studied it, conducted
research and analyses, published books or chapters in
subject encyclopedias, written dissertations, etc.
Conducting a search for
ABOUT such a past event or movement will usually turn up
book reviews of new books dealing with the topic,
incidental mentions of the event compared to a
similar event happening now, or sometimes nothing at all!
Online databases generally index journal articles from the
mid-80’s onwards – therefore, if
you are looking for articles that
were published at the time of the event, you will need to
consult a print index, such as
“Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature.”
Generally, in-depth coverage of an individual (in terms of
their biography and the impact they have had on society)
is best found in BOOKS or a
biographical source such as “Current Biography” [print] or
Biography Research Center [online database].
To tease out articles on complex topics, you need to first
find appropriate subject terms, then experiment using
combinations of fields, date ranges, and article types.
researching is a time-consuming process (so don't leave it
to the last minute)