The resources here will help you to find primary and secondary source materials for your research project in HIST 407 Latin America during the Cold War.
The library’s reference collection is a good place to start research on your project. Reference books, located on the first floor of Knight or online, can provide you with ideas and help you find materials. Examples of useful books include:
Because your topics are broad, it’s necessary to create tight, structured searches. Most catalogs, databases and indexes follow a similar structure. Once you master this structure, you can maximize your search effectiveness and outcome, no matter what the topic.
When you are beginning a research project, it is helpful to jot down some keywords and concepts for which you will be searching. Remember, different authors use different vocabulary; it is important to use different words describing the same idea or concept (e.g. Black, African American, Afro-American, Colored or Negro) or describing an idea at different levels of specificity (e.g. Amerindian, Native American, indigenous, Aztec) may lead you to different results in the same area.
Determining Search Terms
In most databases, you can search different fields (author, title, subject, etc.) or do a keyword search, in which every field is scanned. In researching a broad subject, it is important to consider the value of subject vs. keyword searching. Subject headings are created and pre-assigned to books when they are cataloged, whereas a keyword can appear anywhere in a record. Subject headings are more precise but must be entered in the correct format, whereas keywords will get more results. Keyword searches may include materials that are appropriate but have different subject headings, but they also can include useless results. I usually start with a keyword search, find materials I like and use the subject headings assigned to those books to refine my search.
Any complex research project draws on the intersection of words, phrases and ideas. This is expressed in a search using AND, OR and NOT.
Books as Research Tools
Books are useful beyond the author(s)’ coverage of a topic. You can use a book to further your own research.
Search for annotated bibliographies, books that compile a list of materials on a given subject (e.g. Glimpses of India : an annotated bibliography of published personal writings by Englishmen, 1583-1947 / compiled by John F. Riddick). But remember, a compiled bibliography is out of date as soon as it is published and may miss materials, so only use this as one tool. To search only for bibliographies, do an advanced search with one field set as a subject search for “bibliography.”