04 September 2015

Don't Overlook Academic/Scholarly Publications As You Research Your Family

Resources, Resources, Resources ... there can never be too many online ones that we know about and use!

We’ve often written about WorldCat, Google Books & Scholar and I just re-read The Best Websites for Finding Academic Books and Journals (July 2014) and was reminded of a few old friends and also several websites that I have never used, including Jurn.  Whereas some of the mentioned best websites have a scientific slant to them, Jurn encompasses arts and humanities articles, chapters and theses.

Which reminds me to remind y’all to not overlook theses (aka dissertations) when doing your research.  Masters and doctoral dissertations can be a wonderful resource for social context.  For example, I searched on “North Carolina” + “Slavery” + “Dissertations” and there were many finds. A similar search where I substituted Baptist for Slavery was equally successful.  I also searched on “Finnish” + “Essex County” + Massachusetts.  Do put quotes about terms that might be interpreted otherwise.  For example, when I searched on Finnish, it also brought up Finish and that went away when I searched on “Finnish” (using quotes).

Because theses are often focused on a very specific topic and/or location, you can get great historical context for who, what, when, where and why!

Do you have a favorite academic or scholarly-related resource for material that has greatly enhanced your family history research?

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