My Favorite History Resources – Today we tackle the electronic databases

As a librarian, I’m sure it’ll come as no shock that my favorite part of crafting a book is the research.

So many might ask… how on earth does someone find research on an esoteric topic on something the Celts (especially the Gael culture).

library pic

Many people might be surprised, but a lot of librarians love these kind of questions.  In fact we also enjoy showing how we got the answer, at least I do.

So… here are some basic research tools that you can use

1.  World History Collection

Generally most reference databases aren’t free to everybody… but the great news is if you have a library card chances are you will have access to them both at the library and at home.

When you go into it, you’ll see a list of subjects like automotive, medical, genealogy, and history.  One of my favorites is EBSCOHost’s World History Collection mostly because it’s user-friendly and patrons can pick it up quickly.

Once you have the database up, you can put in a topic or use boolean phrases.  If you don’t have a clue what I’m writing about, either call the library or go find a reference staff member.  They’re there to help and generally get all excited once they figure out you aren’t asking about the copier or how to print.  Generally they’ll take you into the advanced search, so you can find the latest and the greatest in terms of research.  While it might be interesting to find an old article about the Gaels mythology, you may wind up with something from the 19th century.  If that floats your boat, great, but if you want new information that’s accepted by scholars of today, you may want to try to limit the years of the search.

I’d also make sure that you click on the checkbox for ‘full text’.  That’ll make things a lot easier unless you’re doing a search to find print documents that may or may not be available at your local library.

Just for S & G’s I decided to type one of my typical searches…’celts’.  This search will bring up a huge number of results but sometimes that’s okay.

One of the first articles that comes up is

 

Librarian without a library

Okay that’s not entirely true.  I do have a library at home which is what once was a dining room, but seriously who uses a dining room.  They are a waste of space that’s used maybe twice a year.  Most people turn there’s into something else… like a sewing room with a dining room table or dad’s office where he yells at his computer during the tax season.

So if you didn’t already know, I’m out of a job.  I was given my walking papers on thursday and told to use us my holidays and they’d call me with all the paperwork for stuff like unemployment, severance, etc.  I went in for half a day on friday and said goodbye to everyone and headed back home after running errands.

Right now there’s a wee Brigid on the back of my chair making cooing noises.  Lucius is guarding the room and last I saw Clyde was taking a sun-nap in the bedroom window.

The dishes are drying, the clothes are tumbling in the dryer, I have some music playing on the stereo/tv called the ‘100 names of the mother’ or something like that… primarily buddhist/indian chanting.

I did my usual job-searching this morning and that made me somewhat sad.  People seem to believe there’s a bunch of jobs for the taking these days.  Unfortunately, there were no new jobs for librarians in Houston.  So I looked for proctor jobs because I proctored for an official test for our students.  Wow…that was extremely depressing in that I’d make the same money on unemployment.

Well, back to writing.  Right now I’m working on book six, Dynasties of Night.  Love to you all!