Library Research Guide
Use secondary sources, like books and academic journal articles, to place your artifact in historical context.
Use Search It to locate books about Kansas or your artifact owned by K-State Libraries. Use keywords that describe:
Research companions (or guides) are academic encyclopedias. They provide overviews of historical periods or events and cite other books and journal articles with more information. Locate research companions in Search It in a couple of ways:
1. Locate titles by searching for:
2. Search for your topic and the terms like: companion, guide, daily life. You may need to broaden the search from your topic to a time period or concept, like: sports AND daily life
Some relevant titles for your research include:
Kansas History is the main scholarly journal about Kansas history. Until 1978 is was known as Kansas Historical Quarterly. Follow the links below to locate print issues in K-State Libraries or search for articles online.
Search these databases for scholarly articles related to history and cultural objects. Kansas History and Kansas Historical Quarterly can both be searched in America: History and Life.
K-State Libraries subscribes to these databases comprised of primary sources.
Read or examine multiple sources. Multiple sources explore a topic from different perspectives.
Fact check your sources. Do other sources independently confirm the information? Why might sources disagree? If there is only one source for your information, ask why.
Follow the references. Does your source cite references or otherwise indicate where they got their information? If not, why not? If yes, read some of those sources so that you can evaluate their information.
Note: Sources may disagree with each other. This is okay, that disagreement helps us understand history. Be concerned when a source is discredited, particularly when the facts presented are disproved or the research process is questioned.
If your search is not finding a of information, evaluate and revise your search by considering the following:
Your search reflects what you know about a topic. The keywords you search for will change as you learn more about a topic. Your first search may be simple:
After studying your first results, your next keywords may look at a theme: educators and segregated schools
Change your search method to change your search results. Increase your search results by:
Identify the scholarly conversation(s). The sources you locate are part of a conversation among researchers and scholars in an effort to better understand our history. Identifying a conversation helps determine what has already been written about a topic and if there are known gaps in our knowledge. The conversation may entail:
Look at how your topic is discussed by other researchers, what language they use to describe it, what experts they reference, what topics they consider related to your topic. Try new searches using these concepts.