Research Trails

1. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, and Reference Materials

Reference books are useful for background material on most topics.  You are probably familiar with general knowledge encyclopedias, such as Encyclopedia Britannica or Wikipedia.  These are often useful for basic background information.  Specialist encyclopedias and dictionaries are more narrowly focused volumes with articles written by experts in their fields.  They often include brief bibliographies that can lead you to other books, articles, and archival collections. Some sample specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias are listed below to get you start; as you develop your topic, you may want to seek out others.

Visit the reference section at G.R. Little Library (on the second floor). You can search the ECSU reference collection by using the online library catalog and selecting “ECSU Reference Collection” as the collection. You will begin your research by looking for background information on your topic. Browse the indexes, and read a few articles. Look at their bibliographies. If you cannot find any articles on your specific topic, look for more general ones.

Task:  Locate two subject encyclopedias or dictionaries. Record their bibliographic information and call numbers. Look up one entry that you think might be relevant to your proposed topic in EACH encyclopedia/dictionary, and then summarize them.  You should have two summaries.     

Online: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography; Encyclopedia of North Carolina

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Library Scavenger Hunt #selfieswithlibrarians

1. Using the online catalog, determine the call number for Making Empire: Colonial Encounters and the Creation of Imperial Rule in Nineteenth-Century South Africa by Richard Price and write it below. Find the book in the stacks and take a picture (no cheating! don’t move it!).

2. Find one library employee, and take a selfie with her or him. Record her or his name and title (e.g. Director of Circulation).

3. Find the book with the call number D810.S2 J43 2014. Record its title, author, publisher, and date of publication (no cheating! don’t move it!).

4. Take a picture of the Circulation Desk.

5. You want to access an article by Erez Manela titled “Imagining Woodrow Wilson in Asia” in the December 2006 issue of the American Historical Review. Where would you find this? (Be specific.)

6. You want to take a look at Donal Lowry’s edited volume, The South African War Reappraised (Manchester University Press, 2000). Using UNC Express/Worldcat, find the closest library that owns this title. How would you request this item? (be specific)

7. Using the browse (subject) function in the online catalog, find books with the subject category “Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945).” Record the author, title, publisher, and year of publication for the FIRST entry you find.

8. Find the online subject guide for History, and click on Reference Sources. What is the title of one of the books is the center “Reference Books” column.

9. Using the ECSU Archives site, locate the finding aid for the Harold Harvey Murrill Collection papers in the Special Collections. What is in box one of this collection?