Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research on Plague, and other topics related to literature and history.
  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!
What do YOU want to know?
  • Biographical info on the author / creator
  • About the particular text / photo / creative work 
  • What is it that brought Obies to China in the first place?
  • Historical context/background -- what was _____ like during the time period you're researching?
  • Plague (or other disease) -- what it is, when/where it started, how it spread, impact (politically, socially, economically, etc), notable outbreaks, etc?
  • How has this text been critiqued over the years?
     
Start with some keyword brainstorming!

Finding background info
OBIS: Catalog of the Oberlin College Library Unrestricted Resource
OhioLINK Library Catalog Unrestricted Resource
WorldCat Restricted Resource

Library of Congress Subject Heading possibilities

Plague

Rats as carriers of disease

Plague -- China

Epidemics -- History

Plague -- China -- History -- 19th century

Epidemics -- Social aspects
Plague -- China -- Manchuria Communicable diseases -- History
Missions -- China -- Shansi Sheng Plague in literature











Other LCSH subdivisions to look out for:

-- History 

-- History and criticism
-- Biography-- Bio-bibliography 
-- Criticism and interpretation-- Influence
-- Childhood and youth-- Social aspects
-- Political aspects

-- Religious aspects  








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
Literary Reference Center Plus Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
A comprehensive database that provides a broad spectrum of information on thousands of authors and their works across literary disciplines and timeframes. LRC combines information from major respected reference works, books, and literary journals.

Literature Resource Center Restricted Resource
Full-text database that includes author biographies and work overviews, literary criticism, and indexed books, essays, and articles on world literature. 


MLA International Bibliography Restricted Resource
Index to books, essays, and journal articles on modern languages, literatures, folklore and linguistics. Topics include literary theory, criticism, folk literature and belief systems, linguistics, semantics, translation, dramatic arts, and history of printing and publishing. Covers literature worldwide and includes materials in all genres and in foreign languages.
Dates of Coverage: 1926-


JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journal archive for the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;  recent volumes (within 2 to 5 years) not available for many titles.
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
Oberlin Special Collections & Archives
Special Collections and the College Archives share space in the Goodrich room, which is located on the 4th floor of Mudd. 

Hours:  1:30-4:30pm M-F and by appointment
Rare, valuable published materials and objects of historic and artistic significance

Archives
Hours:  10am-noon, 1-4:30pm M-F
Unpublished materials and objects relating to the College and to some degree, the town
 
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.
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