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This guide will help you conduct research for your Theologies of the Civil Rights Movement final project. If you get stuck at any point when looking for sources, feel free to contact Amelia Koford or another librarian.
During our library instruction session in Fall 2021, use this link to access a shared document.
Types of sources
Primary sources offer firsthand evidence from people with a direct connection to the topic. Examples of primary sources:
- Journals, letters, and diaries
- Autobiographies and memoirs
- Oral histories
- Archives and personal papers
- Audio recordings, video recordings, and films
- Newspaper articles from the time period in question
Secondary sources are one step removed from the primary source. They analyze or interpret past events, creative works, or research findings. Examples of secondary sources:
- Books such as monographs (scholarly books by one author) or edited collections (scholarly books with multiple chapter authors)
- Scholarly articles
- Literature reviews and historiographies
Some people also refer to another category, tertiary sources - several steps removed from the primary source. Examples of tertiary sources:
Some books in the TLU library
Some places to search
Search for your figure's name in many different places.
Try your figure's name as the only search term, especially in the library catalog or WorldCat. In other databases, also try looking for an Advanced Search screen and adding an additional search term such as God, theology, religio* (will find religion or religious in most databases), spiritual*, or faith.
When searching on the open Web with a search engine, look at the source URLs for clues about whether the websites are reputable journalistic, church, or academic sources. Sometimes the open Web can help you discover materials for which you will need to ILL the full-text versions. Although Wikipedia shouldn't itself be a source, it can help you find clues to primary and secondary sources, in the References at the bottom of the page.
Online reference works, such as scholarly encyclopedias
QuickSearch simultaneously searches a wide variety of databases in addition to the library catalog. Use the filters and limiters available. The "full text" box is checked by default, but you should un-check this box so that you can see articles to which TLU doesn't have immediate full-text access. Many of them are available through ILL or even on the open Web (search Google Scholar for the full article title).
America: History and Life
Database of scholarly articles and book reviews related to American history.
The Project on Lived Theology
"We produce books, scholarly and popular essays, field reports, oral histories and other resources that plumb the theological depth and detail of lived experience."
WorldCat (web version)
Use WorldCat to find books in other libraries. You can submit ILL requests for these books.
Because Google Books searches within the text of books, it can be a good place to identify books to request through Interlibrary Loan.
More places to search
- Use the library catalog to find books in the TLU Library.
- Try searching for your figure as an author (last name followed by first name) and also as a keyword.
- Use Advanced Search to combine your search term with the subject heading Sources (use the drop-down menu to select Subject).
The library has an index called the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. It is a physical reference source located on the main floor. You can use it to find articles by subject in the library's bound periodicals such as:
- Time (starting in 1927)
- Harper's Monthly Magazine (starting in 1902)
- The Atlantic (starting in 1981)
- Good Housekeeping (starting in 1930)
You can also use the Reader's Guide to locate periodical articles that the library does not own and request them through ILL.
Provides full-text access (including backfiles) to periodicals. These periodicals are also indexed in QuickSearch. American Spectator (1967-present), Commentary (1945-present), Commonweal (1924-present), Dissent (1954-present), Harper's (1850-present), La Follette's Magazine (1909-1929), Moment (1975-present), The Nation (1865-present), National Review (1955-present), The New Leader (1924-present), The New Republic (1914-present), The New Yorker (1925-present), Orion (1982-present), The Progressive (1909-present), The Washington Monthly (1969-present), and The Weekly Standard (1995-present).
Outreach & information literacy librarian
Ask a Librarian
TLU librarians offer in-depth research help.
Chat or Text
Ask a Question: The system will prompt you to send a text or an email, or a live chat if a librarian is available.
During library open hours, ask at the main desk for help finding what you need or help setting up an appointment with a librarian.
Need an item that our library doesn't own? No worries, you can email the title, author and date of what you need to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a form. We can get most (but not all) articles within 2 days and many books within 4-8 days.
For more information, visit our interlibrary loan page.