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History - HSTA 200 (19th Century British Culture): Historian as Detective: Library Databases

This guide was prepared for students taking Dr. Jennifer Lynn's history class: HSTA 200- 19th Century British Culture

Database Searching Tips

The MSUB Library subscribes to many databases, which contain thousands of full-text, scholarly articles. Different databases have different appearances and user interfaces. In general, most offer similar search functionality.

Spend some time brainstorming keywords & search terms to improve your search results. When you find a good article, look at its Reference list or Works Cited page because these can often lead you to other good sources. 

Keyword searching is the default in  most databases.

  • Use important nouns as search words
  • Try using synonyms of your search words to increase results
  • Avoid common words: "a," "an," "the," "to," "of," etc.
  • Use double quotations around search terms to search for an exact phrase. Example: "suffrage movement"

Power Search

Power Search simultaneously searches the majority of library databases and can be used to find scholarly articles. After you enter your search terms, narrow your search to "peer-reviewed journals" to focus on scholarly material. You can also narrow by date, full-text online, and resource type (i.e. newspaper, article, dissertations, etc). Also experiment with putting your search terms in quotations marks:  "Circus Freaks."

Power Search Box

More Library Databases

Search history databases individually by using the drop down box below: