How to Find It (A guide to research for SCA folks)

A. Types of Sources
1. Primary
2. Secondary
3. Tertiary
4. Evaluation Of Quality/Usefulness
a. Focus/Audience
b. Review Indexes
i. Book Review Digest
(H.W. Wilson, 1906–; published
monthly and cumulated annually;
has its own index; also available
in cd-rom).
ii. Book Review Index
(Gale, 1965–; publication
frequency has varied, currently it is
published quarterly with semiannual and
annual cumulations; also available
in cd-rom).
c. Librarian
d. Examination Of Text Itself
i. Footnotes or Endnotes
ii. Index
iii. Illustrations
e. Compare With Other Similar Works
f. Online Articles On This Topic
i. Critically Analyzing Information
Sources and Evaluating Information
on the Internet
Both are at:
B. Types of Searches
1. Small (Fact Finding)
2. Medium (Material Finding)
3. Large (Original Research)
C. Types of Libraries
1. Public
2. Academic
3. Special
4. Helpful Directories
a. American Library Association Directory
(published annually)
b. Directory of Special Library and
Information Centers
(published annually)
c. Subject Collections by Lee Ash and William
G. Miller
(Most recent edition: 1993)
d. Some Online Lists
i. Public Library Locator
ii. State Library web pages listing:
II. Secrets Of A Librarian Revealed
A. How A Librarian Answers Your Question
1. DEFINE the question.
2. TRANSLATE the question.
3. Design a search STRATEGY.
4. IMPLEMENT the strategy.
5. Online Article on Search Strategies
Research Strategies by William Badke
B. Enlightened Browsing
1. Dewey Decimal Classification System
a. 920–General biography & genealogy
(includes heraldry);
930–General history of the ancient world;
940–General history of Europe
2. Library of Congress Classification System
a. CR–Heraldry (CR4501-6305–Chivalry &
D111-203–Medieval history (476-1453);
b. A Helpful Guide
i. L.C. Classification Outline
(2003; 7th ed.)
Price: 1 copy $15.00
5 copies $50.00 ($10.00 each)
10 copies $80 ($8.00 each)
Available at:
To order:
C. Special Tricks
1. Get To Know Your Local Library
a. The Catalog
i. Card
ii. Microfiche
iii. Computer
aa. May also include
databases, e-books, e-journals.
iv. Some Useful LC Subject Headings
Middle Ages–History;
Chivalry; Crusades;
Feudalism; Knights and knighthood;
Renaissance; th century;
Geography, Medieval;
Geography, Medieval–Maps;
Historical geography–Maps.
b. The Back Stacks
c. The Reference Room
d. The Children’s Room
e. The Rare Book Collection
f. The Collection Development Policy
g. The Librarian
2. Pick A Good Place To Start
a. The Humble Encyclopedia
i. General
aa. Dictionary of the Middle
Covers 500-1500 in 13
vols., A-Zwartnos.
ii. Subject
aa. An Example
i. The New Grove
Dictionary of Music and
Musicians, Stanley
Sadie, ed., 1980.
b. General Histories of the Period
i. Cambridge Medieval History
2nd ed., 1966–?; 9 vols.; covers
ii. Cambridge Modern History
2nd ed., 1957-1970; 14 vols.;
covers 1493 to the present;
last vol. an atlas.
c. The Oxford English Dictionary
2nd ed., 1989; 20 vols.; also available in
compact version and on
CD-ROM; additions series began in 1993.
d. Two General Lists
i. Subject Guide To Books In Print
(published annually; available
Look under Middle ages;
ii. Guide to Reference Books by Eugene
P. Sheehy
10th ed., 1986; Supplement to 10th
ed., 1992.
e. Bibliographies
i. At ends of articles in
encyclopedias, journals, etc.
ii. Bibliographic Index
(published semi-annually and in
annual cumulations)
iii. Arts and Sciences Bibliographies,
Available from the Office of the
Stock Clerk
3. The Computer
a. Answering Reference Questions Online
b. CD-ROMs
But if you must….
i. Using the Internet for Research & Documentation
(This is written specifically for SCA folk and also appears in
Tournaments Illuminated #145 (Winter 2003).)
ii. Bare Bones 101: A Basic Tutorial on Searching the Web
iii. Web Search Strategies
iv. Repositories of Primary Sources on the Web
v. Some Recommended Sites
aa. The Labyrinth: resources for medieval studies
bb. The ORB: on-line resource book for medieval studies
cc. NetSerf: the internet connection for medieval resources
dd. The Internet History Sourcebooks
vi. A Search Engines Page Designed by a SCA Librarian, Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
vii. My Webpage:
viii. Links in this Outline:
4. Periodicals
a. Books About Periodicals
i. Standard Periodical Directory
(published annually)
ii. Ulrich’s International Periodicals
(published annually)
iii. Magazines for Libraries by Cheryl
(12th ed., 2003)
iv. Classified List of Periodicals for
the College Library
by Evan Farber (5th ed., 1972)
b. Indexes
i. General
aa. Reader’s Guide to
(published twice a month
with cumulations; also
available on CD-ROM
& online)
bb. Historical Abstracts Part
A (1450-1914)
(published quarterly with
cumulations; also available
on CD-ROM & online)
cc. Combined Retrospective
Index to Journals in History,
1838-1974 (11 vols.,
dd. Infotrac
(computer-only index.
Usually covers 1979-.
Some versions include full
text of SOME articles.)
(computer-only index that
includes full text of
some articles)
ii. Specific
aa. Art Index
(published quarterly with
cumulations; also available
on CD-ROM & online)
bb. Humanities Index
(published quarterly with
cumulations; also available
on CD-ROM & online.)
cc. Social Sciences Index
(published quarterly with
cumulations; also available
on CD-ROM & online.)
iii. Where A Particular Magazine Is
aa. Chicorel Index to
Abstracting and Indexing
(2nd ed., 1978)
bb. Ulrich’s
(For more information, see
4aii above.)
cc. Magazines for Libraries
(For more information, see
4aiii above.)
5. Doctoral Dissertations
Available at a price from: University Microfilms
Index: Comprehensive Dissertation Index (CDI).
1861-1972 are covered by 37 vols.; subsequent
years covered by annual supplements which are
cumulated every five and ten years. Claims complete
coverage of Americandissertations for the years
listed, but many Canadian & foreign dissertations are
also included, especially for more recent years.
Online: go to and
choose Dissertation Services. Then, go to
Dissertation Express. However, if your library
subscribes to Dissertations Online, you can order
PDF files for much less.
6. Pictorial Sources
a. Index to Reproductions of European
Paintings by Isabel Stevenson Monro and
Kate M. Monro (1959)
b. Art Reproductions in Books by Elizabeth W.
Thomson (1974)
c. Index to Two-Dimensional Art Works by
Yala H. Korwin
(2 vols.; 1981; subject index is in
2nd vol.)
d. Encyclopedia of comparative iconography : themes depicted in
works of art edited by Helene E. Roberts
(2 vols.; 1998; arranged alphabetically; six indexes;
excellent reviews.)
e. Medieval art : a topical dictionary by Leslie Ross (1996)
(Quick reference that covers early Christian and
Byzantine topics.)
f. Renaissance art : a topical dictionary by Irene Earls (1987)
(Quick reference that covers the renaissance art of Italy and
northern Europe.)
7. Historical Atlases
a. Times Atlas of World History
(4th ed., 1993)
b. Some LC Classes
I. World atlases that cover
our period
ii. Atlases of facsimiles
iii. By subject
aa. Ancient history–G1033
bb. Medieval history–G1034
cc. Discovery, exploration,
8. Inter-Library Loan
9. Other Sources
a. Experts
b. Organizations With Similar Interests
i. Encyclopedia of Associations
(published annually in several
volumes; one of these volumes is a
quarterly supplement; another of these
volumes is on local and regional
organizations. Also available online.)
ii. Resource Organizations
iii. Other Historical
Re-enactment Groups
aa. Living History,
bb. Reenactor.Net
cc. Histrenact
Living History Re-enactors in
the UK
c. Your County Extension Service