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Background Sources on Race & Ethnicity

Find Books & Journal Articles in LibrarySearch

Use the MRU LibrarySearch tool - the search box on the library homepage - to find information in all formats (including books, journal articles, and flims) simultaneously.

Improve your results by:

  • using the sidebar options (e.g. limit results to only relevant subjects, or to preferred resource type, e.g., books)
  • using the advanced search to search for important search terms in the subject or title fields on the drop-down menus.
  • refining results to only peer-reviewed sources (searches only within scholarly journals)
  • sign in for enhanced results, to save "pinned" favourites lists and search queries

Find Journal Articles in a History Database

Still looking for information or overwhelmed by LibrarySearch results? 

America History and Life is a database dedicated to journals related to North American history.

Try the Advanced Search, where you can:

  • Limit searches by the historical time period discussed in the articles
  • Search for terms in the title, subject or abstract of articles
  • Exclude book review results or results in languages you are unable to read

Find Primary Sources

  • Finding relevant primary sources requires different approaches and different tools than finding secondary sources. Be prepared - the process can be very time consuming. 
  • Browse the Primary Sources for US History tab of this research guide for an excellent list of primary source collections.
  • Try some searches in LibrarySearch:

    • add the term sources to your search words, which narrows a search to primary documents. For example: America Immigration Sources.

    • or try specific terms such as correspondence, diaries, speeches

  • Try searching Google. Along with your topic words, include a term that might be used to describe an online primary source collection, such as: "primary sources,"  sources, documents, "primary documents'

  • Once inside a primary source collection, search using terms that would have been used in the historical period you are studying. For example: Great War vs. World War I, Negro vs. African American.

  • Limit search results to a specific date range when you have the option to do so.

  • No idea where to start? Try a historical newspaper or government document collection - they will support most topics. 

Sample Sources

The following are research sources that would be appropriate for an essay on eugenics in American history

Tertiary source: Encyclopedia article

Scholarly book 

Journal article

Primary source

Chicago Style Citation

MRU Guide to Chicago Style Documentation: The expectation at MRU is that you use this online handout as your guide when using Chicago style.

Annotated Bibliographies: Advice and examples from UCLA's History Department.

Alice Swabey's picture
Alice Swabey
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