Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in Comparative American Studies.
  1. Begin your search with a library catalog (OBIS, OhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  They provide Background and Context, review and SUMMARIZE earlier work, help you FOCUS your topic and provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
     
  2. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
     
  3. Finally, you may wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
Finding memoirs
OBIS: Catalog of the Oberlin College Library Unrestricted Resource
OhioLINK Library Catalog Unrestricted Resource
WorldCat Restricted Resource

LCSH subdivisions to look out for:

-- Anecdotes

-- Correspondence

-- Archival resources

-- Diaries

-- Autobiography

-- Interviews

-- Biography

-- History

-- Collective memory

-- Homes and haunts        

-- Memoirs

-- Memory

-- Speeches

-- Personal narratives

-- Emigration and immigration

-- Sources

-- Childhood and youth

-- Family













Summon
 -- searches across a wide range of library content, and not just books! It includes journal and newspaper articles, data, digital audio, video and images, and so much more. Try it and see what you can discover. 
Finding secondary sources
NOTE: Some of these databases may also lead you to memoirs and other primary source materials. 

Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Multidisciplinary - good for nearly all subjects. Scholarly and trade journals, popular magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings, book reviews, and more.


America: History and Life Restricted Resource
Index to research on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Indexes articles and book reviews from more than 1,700 journals published in more than 40 languages. 

Dates of Coverage:  1964 to date



Biography Reference Bank Restricted Resource Some full text available

Covers over 500,000 people and includes over 36,000 images.  Includes, full-text articles, page images, and abstracts of biographical profiles, feature articles, interviews, essays, book reviews, performance reviews, speeches, and obituaries.



Chicano Database Restricted Resource
Citations to articles and books on all aspects of the Mexican-American, Chicano and broader Latino experience.

Ethnic NewsWatch Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides full-text coverage of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America (some international coverage). Includes more than 400,000 full-text articles from 200 publications.

Historical Abstracts Restricted Resource
Index to more than 3,100 academic journals covering world history (excluding the US and Canada) from 1450 to present, in over 40 languages, with full-text available.  Dates of Coverage: 1955-


Research Help
  • Drop in at the Research Help Desk or call 440-775-5031 during reference hours
  • Email us at reference@oberlin.edu
  • Chat / IM with a librarian
  • Text us at 440-499-7898 (7TXT)
  • Sign up for a Research Appointment
  • Contact Eboni directly -- ejohnson@oberlin.edu or 440-775-5026
Other resources
  • Keyword brainstorming excercise  -- use this worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.
  • CRAAP test  -- this rubric is good for helping you to evaluate the sources you find, both in print and online.
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