Books are often the best starting point for studying a historical topic that is new to you.
LibrarySearch is the best way to find print and electronic books at MRU.
LibrarySearch isn't searching within the books themselves, so you may find additional sources by searching more broadly for the issue or time period into which your topic might fall (e.g., searching for "popular culture" Canada history if a search for television Canada history was unsuccessful). Within those books, look at the chapter headings or check the index to see if your narrower topic of television is discussed.
For some topics, it can be difficult to find books about the Canadian historical context. Canadian history is a relatively small area of study compared to British or American history. If adding the search term Canada to your search words doesn't seem to narrow things down, limit your search by selecting Subject from the options on the right side, then choose Canada (or another relevant subject tag) from the list of options.
To improve the relevance of search results, use the drop down menus under the search box. Try searching for your keywords in the subject or title of results. For even more ways to improve your search, try the drop-down menus on the advanced search screen.
Did you know you can lock your filters in place in Library Search? Hover your cursor over the limit and click to look it in place. Now, even if you change your search terms, the limit will stay in place.
You can start your search for journal articles using LibrarySearch - which is thesearch box on the MRU Library. If you find yourself overwhelmed with results there, you can try some of the following journal article databases which search fewer, but potentially more relevant, journals.
Use the same strategies you used to find scholarly books - broaden and narrow your search by revising your keywords and use the available filters.
Not sure if your source is a scholarly article? They typically have the following characteristics:
Be aware of these popular, non-scholarly history magazines with a lot of Canadian content
America History & Life - Important article database for Canadian and US history. Start here when if you need a history specific tool for Canadian history.
This video explains how to recognize scholarly sources in History, and how to use LibrarySearch to find them.
Government debates (also known as Hansard): Senate Debates, 7th Parliament, 4th Session, Vol. 1 on the Protestant Protective Association
Organizational records, publications or propaganda: Women's voice against the liquor traffice: Must we wait longer? Has there not been enough of woe and wretchedness . . . Women's Christian Temperance Union 18??.
Popular magazines and historical newspapers: What every young girl should know about offices Chatelaine magazine,1969.
Canadiana Online: Includes early government documents/legislation, some early newspapers, religious tracts, early women's magazines, and special interest group publications of various kinds (e.g., WCTU). Best for topics up to the early 20th century.
Historical newspapers: Newspapers are an accessible form of primary source for those new to this type of research. MRU provides access to numerous papers, including some dating back to the mid-19th century (Toronto Star, Globe and Mail) and earlier.
Historical Debates of the Parliament of Canada (Hansard): Includes all verbatim accounts of all debates of the Canadian Senate and the House of Commons from the first session in 1867 to 1994 (House of Commons) and 1996 (Senate).
Peel's Prairie Provinces: Documents the settlement and development of the Canadian West, with a focus on Alberta, and dating back to the earliest days of exploration in the region. A good source of political and special interest related tracts and pamphlets (e.g. Social Credit).
University of Calgary Digital Collections - Includes useful sources on the history of Alberta, including early newspapers, legal history and a local history book collection. For best results, limit your search to only the most relevant collections for your topic.
1:42 - General tips for finding primary sources
4:03 - Finding primary sources in MRU LibrarySearch
5:29 - Finding primary sources via Google
6:55 - Finding primary sources via MRU History Guide, including historical newspapers