Franklin &  Marshall College Library
Lib Res.

HIS 178: Discovering Our Ethnic Past

Reference Resources - Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and bibliographies

Reference or secondary sources are informational resources written by individuals who were not the actual participants in the topic at hand. They may be of value to your research since they often provide greater objectivity and different perspectives as a result of the passage of time. Common secondary sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographies.

Please Note: The general call number range for American History - Elements of the Population is E184-E185.98
The general call number range for United States Local History - Atlantic Coast - Pennsylvania is F146-F160

American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation
Ref Room E184 .A1 A63448 1997 Vol. 1-2

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
Ref Room E184 .A1 G14 2000 Vol. 1-3

The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia
Ref Room E184 .I8 I673 2000

Jewish-American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia
Ref Room E184 .J5 J48 1992

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History
Ref Room E185 .E54 1996 Vol. 1-5

Encyclopedia of Food and Culture
Ref Room GT2850 .E53 2003

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, A History
Ref Room F157 .L2 K6 1924 Vol. 1-4

Search Terminology - Keywords and Subject Headings

When conducting research, always consider alternative keywords and subject headings for your topic. Begin by analyzing your topic or research question, and break it down into its key concepts. What keywords appear? Are there alternative keywords that come to mind?

For this course, keywords may include: ethnic, immigrant, immigration, emigration, groups, minorities, experience, record, history, culture, food, eating, etc.

Subject headings may include: "Ethnicity--United States", or "Immigrants--United States", or "Food Habits", or "Lancaster County (Pa.)--History" etc.

How to find books

  • Select CATALOG from the Library home page. In finding books for this class, try using the keyword and subject terms mentioned above.
  • When you discover a book of interest, select the "DETAILS" tab, and then the "FULL RECORD" tab to look at the assigned subject headings for that item. Note related subject headings, and click on them to find other books that are described in a similar way, and may prove useful.
  • Remember to search out call numbers in both the STACKS and the REFERENCE ROOM. Call numbers are designed to mirror themselves in these two areas. If you find a valuable book in the STACKS, you will find similar, high quality REFERENCE items under the same call number in the REFERENCE ROOM.

How to find and locate journal articles

Start by consulting the following electronic resources:

A collection of abstracts and articles from over 250 scholarly journals, many dating from the nineteenth-century to the last 4 or 5 years.

OmniFile Full Text Mega
Access to full text articles, page images, article abstracts, and citations from thousands of sources. Coverage back as early as 1982.

Lancaster Newspapers, Inc. (PA)
Local Lancaster newspapers, provided by NewsBank. Covers 1995 to the present.

A more complete list of Lancaster PA historic newspapers (1796-present) can be found here.

America: History and Life
Comprehensive bibliography of articles on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to present. Covers abstracts 1964 to the present.

If the article you find is available in full-text, follow the appropriate links. If not, take note of the JOURNAL NAME being cited, and go to the Journals at F&M page to see if the library subscribes to the journal. If so, locate the journal in print or microfilm, and make a copy for your research.

For additional article resources, look under the Electronic Resources - A to Z List on the Library homepage.

Don't Forget: Always consult the bibliography at the end of a journal article for additional resources!

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information. To search for more authoritative sites, use mediated search directories such as the Librarians Index to the Internet or Google Scholar.

The American Family Immigration History Center
This database provides information on 22 million immigrants and ship's crews who arrived at Ellis Island and the Port of New York between 1898 and 1924. Searchable by name, including alternate spelling, results provide date of arrival, age, marital status, ethnicity, residence, gender, ship, and port of departure. Information on each ship and ship manifests are also available. Immigrant Experience includes The Peopling of America, which covers pre-1790 to 2000 with a "timeline showing forces behind immigration and their impact on the immigrant experience." Free registration allows searches to be saved and records to be annotated.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
New York's Lower East Side Tenement Museum is the first in the United States to preserve a tenement building. Between the years 1870 and 1915, 97 Orchard Street was home to over ten thousand people, mostly new immigrants. The site includes a history of the building, dioramas of individual rooms, a virtual tour, and photographs by Arnold Eagle.

American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS)
The American Jewish Historical Society is the oldest ethnic historical organization in the U.S. The society collects archival, published, and artifactual sources depicting the religious, communal, cultural, and political life of American Jewry, and how that community has contributed to the wider society. The site does not include an online catalog of their archives and library; however, it does include information about using the various research sources and lists of Essential Readings and Web sites.

Peopling North America: Population Movements & Migration
A historical overview of migration to and within Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean from Europe, Asia and Africa. The "demographic, economic, cultural, and political nature of major movements" are examined. The glossary (under Sources) has very detailed definitions. Produced by the Applied History Research Group at the University of Calgary.

Other "How To's"...

Additional Help

Contact Christopher Raab for further assistance or fill out a research appointment request form to meet with a librarian.

Last updated: 9/5/05 cmr