Welcome to the Program!
Congratulations on joining the historians' scholarly community at CSUSM and beyond!
While the History Program's page for graduate students (Overview of the Masters in History), your graduate advisor, and thesis committee are the authoritive sources for questions pertaining to your thesis, this site has been designed to identify and augment research sources and library functions in regards to your thesis.
Please feel free to contact me for additional help or with questions that are not answered here. I am on Skype, although I am resisting chat technology. Give Skype a try and if I am on and not with another student, we can talk!
With historical research, you need to keep in mind that your use of materials for your thesis can be different than a peer's use of the same materials, so there is no absolute answer. Rules, access, and resources are in constant flux meaning this information can change, so check back and ask often!
Preparatory Reading--Librarian's Recommendations
Of course, thinking about research opens the question to whether you can access materials during the summer when you may not be enrolled. Current library policy is that if you present documentation (a dated letter from a member of your thesis committee is best) that you are enrolling in the fall semester to continue your thesis work, privileges for continued access will be provided. If you enroll in Extended Studies for summer session, you are automatically granted library privileges. These include Circuit and Interlibrary Loan as well.
These titles are suggestions to supplement all the reading you will have during your breaks.
Writing history: a guide for students (REF D16 .S864 2004)
Feminist research practice: a primer (Stacks HQ1180 .H47 2007)
The information-literate historian: a guide to research for history students (REF D16.2 .P715 2007)
Navigating world history: historians create a global past (Stacks D21.3 .M285 2003 )
Some Thoughts on History Research
Did you know?
There are two web pages on the CSUSM Library web site to help you find what you need in History.
- CSUSM History Subject Guide (left column on Library web site main page)
A general portal to electronic resources and finding tools, updated as librarian's time allows.
- Course Guides (click through SUBJECT & COURSE GUIDES link at top of Library's main page)
Specific to a class and its research needs, new pages are created each semester as instruction is scheduled.
In the Internet Age, we expect all information to be easily accessible through digital access, but experienced researchers know that not everything has been digitized!! Thorough research requires print tools as well as the electronic, and depending on your research focus, you may have to travel to the needed item.
For a in depth discussion of primary sources, see the CSUSM Guide to Primary Sources page.
Here are some sources and search terms that could give you ideas for locating those necessary primary sources both in print and digital format:
Diairies, reports, memoirs, maps, illustrations, plates, accounts, sermons. These may be created by individuals or groups acting as a 'corporate' entity!
Government documents (many governments have not digitized the older materials they have produced, but UCSD and SDSU have been collecting print materials from our own government, foreign governments, and inter-governmental agencies for many years.)
Newspapers are great sources for 'at the time' reports and editorials. Keep in mind the emotions and culture will reflect thinking at the time and not necessarily be in agreement with modern thought or interpretation. We are building our newspaper collections through a variety of sources. Check the History Subject Guide Newspaper link.
Journals generally provide secondary analysis through use of primary source materials. You may want to browse what we have in the database collections in your area of interest. Here are a couple of ways to get to that information.
Do a GENRE search on the term "Electronic journals history" to retrieve all titles with digitized full text.
Do a SUBJECT search on the term "History--periodicals" which will return paper-based general history journals.
Do a keyword search on your topic and then limit/refine/modify the search results to PERIODICALS or INTERNET SOURCE to narrow your results.
Besides the tools listed here, investigate whether there are organizations or associations that focus on your area of history. A search on your topic with a site limiter command to site:org will return museums, associations and professional organizations that could offer access to some less well-known resources!
Oxford English Dictionary (both print and in the CSUSM databases). This is important when working with older materials that could likely use a word in what is now an obsolete meaning. It may also give you an alternative spelling that was in use during your time period.
Tutorial on basic tools and skills in history research
Zotero (see Citation Manage tab)!
Publish, Not Perish Tutorial from University of Colorado
While directed at graduate students and junior faculty working on their first scholarly manuscripts for publication and the review process, much of this site is useful for any scholarly communication planning.
Practical Tips for Reading Critically-Academic Prose from UC Berkeley
A gentle reminder to read for purpose, not just to cover ground.
Research-based and Anecdotal Tips for Improving Scholarly Productivity (University of Wisconsin)
Associations & Conferences
Last Update: January 21, 2015 08:53