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ARTHIST495RW: Art History Honors

As serious researchers at the Honors level, it’s important that you begin to branch out from basic search strategies and think more broadly about the wide range of ways in which you can build your honors bibliograph

Building a Bibliography of Secondary Sources

As serious researchers at the Honors level, it’s important that you begin to branch out from basic search strategies and think more broadly about the wide range of ways in which you can build your honors bibliography of secondary literature.  Some strategies you’ll want to consider appear below ...

1.      Research is not a solitary activity – it’s a collaborative exercise!

Talk to a wide circle of fellow academics about your topic, including your thesis advisor; other professors - perhaps outside the Art History Department or even outside of Emory - who have done research on your topic; fellow students, AND (last but not least!) librarians who specialize in your area of research who can help you unearth both secondary and primary sources both at Emory and elsewhere.

2.      Follow the trail of footnotes and bibliographies in everything you read

Old-fashioned footnote chasing is still one of the best research strategies, even in the digital age.

3.      Search beyond discoverE, and Emory’s holdings

  • The WorldCat “metacatalog”: lists the holdings (books, manuscript and archival collections, government documents, and other materials – but NOT articles) of the great majority of libraries, especially in the United States but also outside of the U.S.

  • The Center for Research Libraries:  makes available hard-to-find scholarly resources to Emory and its other institutional members. Its outstanding collections include more than 500,000 titles and 3.5 million volumes of research materials rarely held in North American libraries. Most CRL materials may be obtained through Interlibrary Loan.

  • The Digital Public Library of America: A digital library that makes materials available online from America's libraries, archives, and museums.

  • Hathtitrust - The HathiTrust Digital Library brings together the immense collections of over sixty major research institutions and libraries in digital form, preserving them securely to be accessed and used today, and in future generations.

  • Google Books - Search the latest index of the world's books. Find millions of great books you can preview or read for free.

  • National and International Catalogs: many national libraries in industrialized countries now have online catalogs of their holdings, but for developing countries, you may need to travel to the library to learn what they have.  Europeana,  The Library Index (LibDex) , and Libweb all allow you to access catalogs by country or region.

4.      Browse the Stacks!

There’s a reason why books in libraries are organized by subject! Once you’ve located a relevant title in the stacks (i.e. bookshelves), browse nearby shelves to locate other titles relating to the same topic. You can also browse the stacks virtually by using discoverE's browse shelf function - enter all or part of a call number and then scan backwards and forwards through our holdings.

5.      Search databases for journal articles and other secondary literature

[Browse or search databases via the library’s Databases@Emory page]:

6.      Search other subject-specific databases relevant to your research topic

You can discover these by:

  • Perusing our subject-specific Research Guides.

  • Using the “Find by Subject” and “Find by Category” menus on our Databases@Emory page.  Use the Archives & Primary Sources databases category to browse a list of many of the library’s online primary source collections.

  • Consulting a subject librarian.LASTLY – when you are no longer discovering new relevant citations ...

it’s time to stop searching and start reading!
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