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CHS 300 — Fall 2009 - Introduction to Chicana/o Studies

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on September 09, 2009, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.

Contact Information

Stewart Baker


Getting Started

Primary and Secondary Sources

Research using secondary sources

Finding books at CSUDH

Finding books with worldcat

Inter-Library Loan services

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

Off-Campus Access

Useful Books

Useful Databases

Newspaper Databases

Getting Started

Start your research by going to the library home page.

Site Organization:

  • Main - Here you will find the most-used links and information
  • Use the Library - Links to pages which will help you use the library
  • Help - Basic Library Information and Help pages
  • Services & Depts. - Services the library offers and departmental web pages

Checking out books: You can see what books are available in the Torofind Library Catalog. Once you have found the books you want from the shelves on the 3rd or 4th floor, bring them downstairs to the Circulation Counter to check them out. If you are a new student you might need to register first at the Circulation Counter.

Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Torofind online catalog.

Library's Book Borrowing Policies

Primary and Secondary Sources

There are two types of source materials.  These are primary source materials and secondary source materials.  In order to effectively complete the research assignments your professors give you, it is important to understand the difference in the two types.

What is a primary source?

  • The "raw materials" of research
  • Unprocessed data or accounts of an event as it happens
  • Examples include memoirs, contemporary news reports, interviews, government reports

What is a secondary source?
  • "Processed" research
  • Collation or description of other people's research.
  • Examples include scholarly books, journal articles, presentations and papers

Why does it matter?

Both primary and secondary sources can play an important role even at the undergraduate level.  In most undergraduate research, only secondary sources are used, as they have already put the source material into a form that is easy to apply to the goals required by coursework.  Many post-graduate courses will require you to use entirely primary material and come to your own conclusions.

For instance, if you were buying a car, you would want to find out what other people who own the car think about it (secondary sources) and you would probably also want to test drive the car (primary source).  Doing one or the other would be good, but doing both would give you a much better idea of the car's quality and suitability for your needs.  The same is true in research.

Research using secondary sources
CSUDH library has a variety of secondary sources available for your use.  They include, but are not limited to:
  • Books in the library
  • Online books with ebrary
  • Journals in the library
  • Online article databases

Finding books at CSUDH

To find books in the CSUDH Library Catalog, go to the library's home page.  At the left-hand side of the page you will see a section with the header Find a Book Now.  You can use this section to search for books straight from the home page, or you can click on the header to go into the catalog for more detailed searches.

Books are located using the Library's ToroFind catalog. Here you can search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that allow you to directly request books from other libraries. Links are provided below for other local libraries and libraries worldwide.

  • ToroFind : CSUDH Online Catalog is used to find books and other materials available in the CSUDH Library.
  • Ebrary is a growing collection of electronic books on a variety of topics geared to academic libraries and college students. Use the link to access this database. Ebrary books available are listed in the ToroFind Catalog.
  • WorldCat can sometimes help you find books in local libraries.

Finding books with worldcat

If the CSUDH library doesn't have what you're looking for, don't despair!  It's possible you can find it in a public library or another university library nearby.

You can access WorldCat for free by going to http://www.worldcat.org/ anywhere you have Internet access.

Searching Worldcat works much like searching the library's catalog:  Just type in either the book name, the author name, or the ISBN and hit search.  If there are a lot of similarly-named books, you can use the advanced search options to narrow down your results.

Once you find the book you want, click on it to see a list of which libraries have it.  You can click on a library's name to go into their catalog to see if it's checked out or available there.

Inter-Library Loan services

If nobody nearby has the book, or if you don't have permission to borrow it from them, you can use our Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service.

When you request a book or article through ILL, we will send a request to the closest library which owns a copy.  Due to cooperative book-sharing agreements, we can usually get the item you request sent to us for you to borrow.

Note, however, that ILL can take anywhere from 2-7 business days, and occasionally longer.  Don't wait until the last minute and assume we can still get it for you in time!

You can access the ILL forms on the ILL web page at http://library.csudh.edu/services/ILL/ or by clicking the "Inter-Library Loan" link on the library's home page.

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

You can get journal articles by going to the library home page and clicking the Journal Articles & Electronic Resources link under the "Find Journal Articles Now" heading. Click the heading that sounds the most like your situation.

Once you are in a database, you can start to search for your article. All databases' search options are slightly different, but they usually include several search boxes you can fill out. Most databases will also let you search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals. For your research papers, you will want to make sure you check this option!

Articles which you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.

Some articles will say "Check Availability of Complete Article" instead of having links to the full text. If you see this, it means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. But don't worry! By clicking the link which says this, you can see a list of which databases do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan.

Off-Campus Access

If you are using a computer that is on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will be sent immediately to the search screen.

If you are off campus, you will need to log in using your last name and student ID number. Your student ID number is located on the front of your student ID card. It is not your social security number! When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.

After you enter your last name and ID number, you will be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just like you would on campus.

Useful Books

Try the following search in the library's online catalog and you will see a list of useful books.

  • Go to the library's online catalog
  • In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Subject - Subject Words"
  • In the text area to the right, type in the following subject:
  • Click on any of the subjects to see books in each of the areas listed.
  • Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
  • Select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.

Useful Databases
Chicano/a Specific Databases
  • Chicano Database is a comprehensive bibliographic index representing all types of material for information about Mexican-American topics and the only specialized database for and about Chicanos. Updated quarterly, the Chicano Database provides extensive coverage from the 1960s to the present, with selective coverage dating back to the early 1900s.
  • Ethnic Newswatch contains News, Culture and History from 200+ Publications of the Ethnic, Minority and Native Pres.
Other Useful Databases
  • Project MUSE provides full text articles in major scholarly humanities and social sciences journals.
  • Academic Search Premier is a cross-discipline database with articles from thosuands of scholarly journals.
  • SocINFO is a sociology database which contains scholarly journal articles focusing on Chicana/o culture.

Newspaper Databases

Newspapers can be an excellent primary source. CSUDH has access to some major newspapers from the present day going all the way back to the late 1800s.

Current Newspapers

Historical Newspapers