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Your Humanities Librarian
Start with Oxford Music Online (Grove's)
Start in Oxford Music Online for research papers, recitals, and knowledge
Oxford Music Online combines three major print dictionaries: Grove Music Online, Oxford Companion to Music, and Oxford Dictionary of Music.
Grove articles display first (because they are the best). To view results from the other two, click the additional link once you see the results.
Additional encyclopedias can fill in the blanks
Browse in the reference section on the 1st floor in the 780's. Or search one of the multi-disciplinary encyclopedia databases (helpful if you need to know more history aside from music).
Credo Reference This link opens in a new window
Full-text of over 1,000 reference works (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc).
Britannica Academic This link opens in a new window
Reference articles, photographs, maps, and more, all produced in collaboration with experts, scholars, and educators under rigorous editorial review.
Continue with Books
Move to books when you have a sense of how to narrow your topic
WorldCat This link opens in a new window
Search libraries around the world! Order for free using the ILL link.
WorldCat video link
Learn more about searching WorldCat and borrowing from other libraries for free.
Notice Subject Terms
Incorporating subject terms into your search--either by clicking them to do new searches or adding them as keywords--will help you find more sources than you did on your own keywords.
Move to articles when you can be specific
Look for articles when you know your specific topic
If you look for articles before you've narrowed as much as you can, you'll likely choose many interesting articles that are sort of about the same thing--but not really about the same one more specific thing. That makes writing a paper more difficult.
JSTOR This link opens in a new window
Multidisciplinary full-text academic journals, books, and primary sources (usually excludes the past 2-5 years).
Google Scholar This link opens in a new window
Search across disciplines and sources to locate articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites.
ProQuest One Academic This link opens in a new window
Extensive collection of journals, ebooks, dissertations, news, video and primary sources from 1970 to the present. Includes ProQuest Central, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, Academic Complete, and Academic Video Online.
Look for more databases from relevant disciplines such as history, sociology, education, political science, etc.
Primary sources and websites?
Primary sources and website sources?
When researching historical music topics, you may find a need to locate primary sources. These are sometimes re-published in books and sometimes available digitized online at museum and archive websites.
- Search for your topic with the words museum, archive, primary sources, site:org, or a combination of those:
- This search led us to a great resource for primary sources on Scott Joplin:
There is rarely a need to look for non-scholarly web-published content in historical music research. If you are having trouble finding a historical topic in the resources linked above, don't hesitate to contact the librarian!
Evaluation: Three questions
What is it? Why do I care? What does it really say?
You answer these three questions every time you use a source, whether you know it or not.
- Whether it is a website or a scholarly journal article...
- Whether it is for a 1st-year course or real life...
Start noticing how you answer these questions to ensure your sources are really meeting your needs.
The Three Questions:
- What is it: What is the source type and author credibility?
- Quick Wikipedia checks are okay! You can also compare what other source say about that source.
- Why do I care: Does the source type and author credibility meet your needs?
- Decide this at the beginning so you know whether to read the material or find something better.
- What does it really say: Perceive how the word choices influence the knowledge.
- The author's word choices, included and excluded information, and the aim of the publication all make a difference in how or why you would use a source.
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