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HSS 552 - Europe 1914-1949: War and Peace: Secondary Sources: Books, Journals, & Websites

by BethTompkins

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Databases vs. Websites

Databases

  • Paid for by the library.  Often very expensive!
  • Cannot be searched in Google.
  • Includes sources written by professors, scholars, journalists, "smart people", etc.
  • Authority of information is verified by experts.

Websites

  • Access is free.  No one is paying for the content.
  • Anyone can publish a website.  The information included is often not verified by anyone.
  • Can be searched in a variety of search engines, including Google.
  • Must examine with a critical eye!

Search the OWHL Catalog

   Oliver Wendell Holmes Library Catalog

          

Recommended Databases

Another type of secondary source is a scholarly journal article. These are much shorter than books, but also much more specific. You won't find a complete biography of Marco Polo in a scholarly journal article, but rather an analysis of a specific part of his life or work. Scholarly journal articles often have a thesis and a specific point of view, which is something to keep in mind as you read and take notes.

Here are a few databases that contain scholarly journal articles:

Secondary Sources: Websites

You can also find some journal articles and secondary sources on websites. Many of them may be connected with a museum, and so will offer primary sources as well.

However, not all websites are trustworthy and worthy of citation in your academic work. Be sure to consider who is responsible for a website, when and where it was created and updated, and for what purpose. Always ask your teacher or a librarian to vet a website before citing it in your paper.

Below are some websites and collections with secondary source-type information that you can use in your research: