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First Year Seminars: FYS 156-3 Tea

Searching at Musselman Library

Background Information

Use encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries to find background information. These sources can provide you with ideas and keywords to search for more information that you can use in your research. 

In addition to looking at individual titles, use Gale Reference eBooks or Oxford Reference to search multiple titles at once.

Use encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries to find background information. These sources can provide you with ideas and keywords to search for more information that you can use in your research. 

In addition to looking at individual titles, use Gale Reference eBooks or Oxford Reference to search multiple titles at once.

Use encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries to find background information. These sources can provide you with ideas and keywords to search for more information that you can use in your research. 

In addition to looking at individual titles, use Gale Reference eBooks or Oxford Reference to search multiple titles at once.

Use encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries to find background information. These sources can provide you with ideas and keywords to search for more information that you can use in your research. 

In addition to looking at individual titles, use Gale Reference eBooks or Oxford Reference to search multiple titles at once.

Finding Secondary Sources

Use these catalogs and databases to discover and access secondary sources on your topic.

Searching for Primary Sources


Searching for additional primary sources:

Some primary source material can be found by searching MUSCAT Plus, the library catalog, using a keyword or subject search. These search techniques work in any library catalog, including WorldCat.org. Additional primary sources may be found in Gettysburg College's Special Collections.

  • First try a KEYWORD search which searches all words in the titles, authors, subjects, and notes of MUSCAT Plus records. You can enter words in any order. This is the broadest, safest search. Take note of Subject Headings for promising titles.
  • Next try a SUBJECT search with the subject headings from the keyword search. This searches only the subject fields of MUSCAT Plus records, and word order matters. Ask a librarian if you need help identifying the best subject heading(s) for your topic.
  • Finally try an AUTHOR search to find original writings of a person or documents published by a government or organization (these are called "corporate authors").

    Examine the subject headings carefully. The following subheadings will help you identify books and microfilm that contain primary sources:

--diaries
--correspondence
--case studies
--sources
--documents

--sermons
--early works to  1800
--early works to  1900

--photographs
--posters
--pictorial works
--caricatures and
cartoons
--personal narratives
--interviews
--anecdotes
--underground literature

Ex: United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives

Research 101 Workshops

Research 101 series logo

30-minute sessions that cover research basics, not connected with a specific course. Come to as many as you like! 

Register on Engage

Sessions include:

  • Getting Started with Your Research Assignment (10/3)
  • How to Read a Scholarly Article (10/12)
  • Citation & Paraphrasing (10/20)
  • Organize Your Research Process (10/25)
  • Search Like a Pro (11/3)
  • Working with Zotero (11/9)
  • Working with RefWorks (11/14)