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HIST 300: Search Strategy . Tamara Smith, Reference Librarian Langsdale Library tsmith@ubalt.edu 410-837-5072. Plan for Today. Search Strategy Historical Research Getting Articles Activity: Learn a Database Wrap-up. Traditional Search Strategy. Research Question:

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hist 300 search strategy

HIST 300: Search Strategy

Tamara Smith, Reference Librarian

Langsdale Library



plan for today
Plan for Today
  • Search Strategy
  • Historical Research
  • Getting Articles
  • Activity: Learn a Database
  • Wrap-up
traditional search strategy
Traditional Search Strategy

Research Question:

Has integration resulted in a better education for blackchildren?

search statement
Search Statement



Desegregation ANDBlack*ANDStudent

boolean operators
Boolean Operators
  • AND: joins concepts/ideas together (both/all)
  • OR: combines synonyms or related terms (either/any)
combining keywords
Combining Keywords
  • Nesting: combine like terms in parentheses; used to combine synonyms
  • Truncation (*): special symbol used to represent missing letters; used in place of retyping an entire word
combining keywords1
Combining Keywords

(IntegrationOR Desegregation) AND

(EducationORLearn*) AND

(Black* ORNegro OR African-American)

historical research
Historical Research

Research Topic:

Write a biographical essay about Linda Brown Thompson and her place in American History.

historical research1
Historical Research

What we know:

  • American

What we need to know:

  • Where in America?
  • Known for what?
  • When in history?
historical research2
Historical Research

Where to start?

  • Textbook
  • Encyclopedia
  • Wikipedia
  • Search engine
  • Database
historical research3
Historical Research

Linda Brown Thompson

  • Born 1943
  • Grew up in Topeka, Kansas
  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
historical research4
Historical Research

Not finding what you want?

Get creative!


historical research5
Historical Research


  • Names
    • Linda Brown Thompson
    • Oliver Brown (father)
    • Cheryl Brown Henderson (sister)
  • Places
    • Topeka
    • Kansas
    • United States
historical research6
Historical Research


  • Events
    • Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
    • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  • Topics
    • Segregation/desegregation
    • Civil Rights Movement
    • Jim Crow or “black code”
    • Racism
finding journal articles
Finding Journal Articles

Subject-Specific Databases:

  • America: History and Life
  • Humanities International Complete
  • JSTOR (full text access for part of the database)
finding journal articles1
Finding Journal Articles

General Databases:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Afro-American Historical
  • Baltimore Sun Historical
  • Historical Newspapers
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic
getting to the full text
Getting to the Full Text

Do we own it?

  • Find It button
  • Journal Finder

If we don’t own it, use ILL

wrap up
  • If your topic is too broad, add another concept (AND)
  • If your topic is too narrow, add synonyms and related terms (OR)
  • When doing historical research, be creative (related people, topics, places, etc.)
  • Different databases = different results (try more than one)
thank you
Thank You!

Reference Help:

Phone: 410-837-4274

E-mail: langref@ubalt.edu

IM: ublangsdale

HIST 300 Course Page:


photo credits
Photo Credits

Young Linda Brown: http://www.policyalmanac.org/culture/archive/7174761-140.jpg (accessed 9/10/08)

Cheryl Brown Henderson & Linda Brown Thompson: http://www.canisius.edu/images/userImages/chuckp/Page_5311/browns_300.jpe (accessed 9/10/08)