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HIS 490 — Senior Seminar in History - Religion in the Western World


Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro


Concepts and questions for beginning research

Finding Books in the library

Magazine, journal and newspaper articles online

Finding Quality Websites

Library Guides

Concepts and questions for beginning research
  • Where to Start?
    • What's your research question?
    • What information do you need to find?
  • Who cares about the same information? (e.g.: researchers, historians, government, etc.)
    • What kind of information do they need?
    • Where would they get it?
  • Types of information available
    • Books
    • Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers
    • Websites
  • What is a primary source ? What is a secondary source ? Click here to find out
  • Search Concepts
    • Boolean operators
      1. AND: Adidas AND marketing
      2. OR: Adidas OR Nike
      3. NOT: Adidas NOT shoes
    • Phrase searching "" ( "Nike Sportswear of America")

Finding Books in the library

Go to TOROFIND: the CSUDH Library Catalog and search on the title, author, subject or keyword. Look not only for that specific call number, but also check out the books in that section.

  • If you don't see the right item listed, or want more titles, try an on a few keywords (in separate boxes), such as genealogy , ethnography or postmodernism . Add terms like anthology , novel or periodical .
  • If you still don't find the right book, ask a reference librarian.
  • Recommended indexes to older publications:
    • Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature - REF AI3. R47
    • Humanities Index - REF AI3. H85
    • International Index - REF AI3. L57
    • Poole's Index to Periodical Literature - REF AI3. P7

Magazine, journal and newspaper articles online

Online history indexes (databases) must be accessed through the CSUDH library homepage (library.csudh.edu). You may either browse the collections by subject area or go to your favorite resource using the database Title List.

NOTE: These are subscription databases, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our Remote Patron Access Instructions guide for login instructions.

To find the full text of an article, click on the PDF Full Text or HTML full text link. Or click on the FindItCSUDH button to see if the full article is available from the library.

Recommended indexes:

  • America History and Life : indexes over 2000 journals on American History.
  • JSTOR : Peer reviewed journal articles on a wide range of Humanities subjects.
  • Historical Abstracts : World history from 1450 to the present.
  • Project Muse : Multi-subject scholarly article index focused on Humanities topics.
  • Humanities Full Text : Full text articles in the areas of history, literature and other humanities.
  • Social Sciences Full Text : Full text articles in the areas of sociology and other social sciences.
  • Los Angeles Times Historical Index (ProQuest) : Scanned L.A. Times articles and images from 1881-1987.

These indexes are not specifically history related, but they are very good for information on general and local subjects :

  • Academic Search Premier : Multi-disciplinary index to journals, magazines and other periodicals.
  • CQ Researcher: Authoritative reports on timely or controversial topics. Very good for federal legislative issues.
  • OmniFile Full Text Mega: Multi-disciplinary index to journals, magazines and other periodicals.Unique, esoteric collection of periodical articles.
  • ProQuest Databases: Very good multi-disciplinary index to journals, magazines and other periodicals.

Finding Quality Websites

These are indexes to quality web sites that have been reviewed by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, timiliness, stabilty, and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.

  • Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the Univeristy of California and other universities, it is a searchable index of websites specifically appropriate for university research. Click on SocSci & Humanities to search their specialized index.
  • Internet Public Library 2 (IPL2): Index of websites reviewed by librarians, geared toward the general public. Choose a topic from the index or use Advanced Search to search for keywords.
  • Evaluating Information on the Web: This is a very good checklist from the Pasadena City College Library for judging the quality of not only information on the Internet, but any information you may want to use for an assignment.
  • The Pew Forum on Religion and Life:  The Pew Research Centerís Forum on Religion & Public Life, launched in 2001, conducts surveys, demographic analyses and other social science research on important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world.
  • The American Memory Project  is a collection of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures and text from the Library of Congress Americana collections. There are over 70 collections included in the project. Go the the American Memory website and search a particular topic or browse through the collections.
  • Adherents.com:  This website is a growing collection of statistics and citations on the world's religions. It includes references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, and movements. Adherents.com is an Internet initiative and is not affiliated with any religious, political, or educational organization.

Library Guides