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Information Resources and Services for:
FTS 100: Other Lives, Other Perspectives

Fall 2011
The Research Process

Research is an adventure. It's open-ended, exploratory, surprising, frustrating, and full of blind alleys and interesting side trips. It doesn't have to be lonely. Compare notes with your colleagues and take advantage of the friendly people sitting at the reference desk. We love to help you find what you're looking for.

Faculty: Florence Amamoto
Librarian: Anna Hulseberg

Table of Contents:

Finding Books
Books are shelved according to the Library of Congress system.
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Choose "All Libraries" in the search options to search other MnPALS libraries (such as Minnesota State schools) and request books through Interlibrary Loan. View our MnPALS Plus tutorial.
  • A note about subject headings
    There are a number of ways of describing a particular ethnic group, which can make searching a catalog or database tricky. The Library of Congress subject headings tend attempt to keep books under a topic under the same headings, so they are slow to change and don't always reflect current usage. For example, catalogers don't use "Latino" or "Latina" but rather "Hispanic;" not "Native Americans" but "Indians of North America." The subject headings listed at the bottom of a book record in the catalog can give you clues about which search terms will work best. Other databases may use other subject terms; be aware that you may have to reword a search to find what you need.
Finding Articles
Databases for articles and other materials offer references to publications that may or may not be in this library; some databases offer full text of articles and others simply citations. There are in-depth databases that cover publications in a particular field and others that are interdisciplinary. You can access databases from a drop-down list on the library's main page.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Search current news, business information, and legal news and information. International news sources are also included. You may limit your search to Ethnic News sources.
    Coverage varies by title; mostly 1980s-present
  • MLA International Bibliography
    The major research resource for information on English literature, foreign languages and linguistics. Includes references to scholarly articles, books, book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations; coverage dates back to the 1920's.
    1923-present; updated 9 times yearly
  • ProQuest Newsstand
    Indexing and selected full text access to over 350 newspapers from around the world. Archival coverage begins in 1985 for some titles. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
    1986-present (most from 1995 on)
Finding Journals
  • Journal Locator
    Find out if we subscribe to a particular journal, either online or in print. If the journal is not available in print or full text at Gustavus, you may request copies of articles through Interlibrary Loan.
Reference Works
Reference works are helpful at two points in your research: when starting out (by offering overview articles of, say, a writer and her work) or when nailing down unfamiliar terms, concepts, and topics that turn up during your research. Many reference book articles are written by experts and offer not only information but excellent bibliographies for further research.
  • Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience
    New York: Oxford 2005 2nd ed. edition
    A rich compendium of information about the African diaspora edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates.
    • Location(s): Ref DT14 .A37435 2005
  • Dictionary of American History
    New York: Scribner's 2003 3rd ed. edition
    An encyclopedia of political, cultural, social, economic, and military history in the United States. The ninth volume contains historical maps and primary documents.
    • Location(s): Ref E 174 .D52 2003 (9 vols.)
  • Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Agreements, and Conventions, 1775-1979
    Norman: University of Okahoma 1999
    A collection of legal and diplomatic documents, including analysis and context. A remarkable collection that builds on Kappler's Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties (Ref KF8203 1972b). This work is edited by Vine Deloria, Jr. and Raymond J. DeMallie.
    • Location(s): Ref KF 8202 1999
  • Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: the Black Experience in the Americas
    New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan 2006 2nd edition
    A wide-ranging encyclopedia covering people, places, events, concepts, and topics of all sorts. Articles are written by specialists and have useful bibliographies.
    • Location(s): Ref E 185 .E54 2006
  • Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass
    This 3-volume set documents the range of the African American experience in the 17th through 19th centuries. It covers the influence of the African American experience on culture, history, and national identity.
    • Location(s): Ref E185 .E545 2006
  • Encyclopedia of American Social History
    New York: Scribner's 1993
    Filling in the holes left in conventional political/biographical history sources, this set covers topics such as religion, class, gender, race, popular culture, regionalism, and everyday life from pre-Columbian to modern times in lengthy and well-documented articles.
    • Location(s): Ref HN 57 .E58 1993 (3 vols.)
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
    Detroit: Gale 2000 2nd ed. edition
    Offers over 150 substantial essays on ethnic groups in the U. S., covering origins, circumstances of arrival, family, community, culture, economy, politics, and significant contributions. Each essay ends with a bibliography and contacts for further research.
    • Location(s): Ref E 184 .A1 G14 2000
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes
    Detroit: Gale 1998
    Offers surveys of tribes, including history, migration, subsistence, modern history, and current issues. Use the index to locate nations that may have more than one name in use (e.g. Anishinabe / Ojibwe / Chippewa).
    • Location(s): Ref E77 .G15 1998
  • Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples
    New York: Oxford University Press 2000
    Includes information about over 200 Native American groups in Canada and the U.S. Covers location, population, history, and culture.
    • Location(s): Ref E76.2 .P75 2000
  • Native Americans
    Washington, DC: CQ Press 2002
    Provides essays related to the political and cultural issues surrounding Native Americans. Essays are supplemented by primary source documents.
    • Location(s): Ref E93 .N32 2002
Other Resources for You
  • Citing Your Sources
    Learn how to cite your resources in MLA, APA, and Chicago Style. In addition to these online style guides, print style guides (and The Everyday Writer) are available both at the library reference desk and at the Writing Center (Confer 232). This page also includes links to RefWorks and EndNote Web.
  • Scholarly vs. Popular vs. Trade
    Provides criteria for distinguishing between scholarly journals, popular magazine, and trade publications. From the North Carolina State University Libraries.
Contacting Anna
I am happy to discuss your research questions with you. Contact me via e-mail at or call me at x7566.

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