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Social Studies Subject Guide: Modern World



Click Here for the Passwords List.  You'll need to log in as a Catlin Gabel student or employee.  Having trouble? Contact your division librarian.

Search Skills: The Basics

Search Skills

Brainstorm a list of keywords and phrases relevant to your question, and include synonyms.  Don't skip this step!  Think about synonyms for your keywords and phrases.

Use quotation marks for exact phrases:

  • ex:  "armenian genocide"
  • ex:  "boko haram"

Wild cards find all versions of a word when added after the word's root:

  • ex:  iraq* finds iraq and iraquis, etc.
  • ex: sanction* finds sanction, sanctions, sanctioning, etc.

Start with a general search, and narrow it down as you look through your results.

Read abstracts when they are available.  They're brief summaries of the contents of a long, complex article.  Abstracts are hugely helpful. NOTE:  A small percentage of articles in JSTOR include abstracts.

Need Help? Ask Sue or Derek!

Virtual Museum: Curating Power & Politics

Virtual Museum: Curating Power & Politics
Before you dig into database articles, it's a good idea to get an overview of your topic. Here are some possible sources, both in print and online.

CultureGrams (requires MultCoLib card)
This is a very useful, searchable database providing historical background on countries, cultures, and political events.  Helpful source for getting the big picture.  

Databases & Ebooks

Database articles can be helpful for providing context for your topic as well as images with clear, accurate information about their sources. These databases require logins and passwords. Click the DATABASE PASSWORDS link in the upper left of this page to find out how to log in.

These can be a very useful way of finding accurate, peer-reviewed information on your topics.  

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations
These ebooks provide excellent short histories of nations, as well as information about ethnic groups, religions, languages, economy, and more.  A great source of information for your project. Use the login for Gale Ebooks, and enter information in Search Publication on the right of the screen.



Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, 2nd ed., 6 volumes

This is a useful, searchable set of books providing context for understanding social movements, culture, and important political figures in a number of Latin American nations. Use the login for Gale Ebooks, and enter information in Search Publication on the right of the screen.

Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2nd ed. (2016)

This reference work includes articles on the history, religion, cultural practices, and political economies of Muslims from the seventh-century in West Asia to today’s Muslim societies throughout the continents of Asia, Africa, the Subcontinent, Europe, and the Americas. Use the login for Gale Ebooks, and enter information in Search Publication on the right of the screen.




Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism Since 1450

Provides students and researchers with a much-needed, comprehensive resource on the subject of colonialism and expansion. From a global perspective, the set traces many facets of colonial growth and imperialism. Use the login for Gale Ebooks, and enter information in Search Publication on the right of the screen.

Image Libraries
Here are some selected links to good quality, reliable sources of images. Because of their reliability, you're much more likely to get accurate information about the contents of the photos.  

Getty Images
Getty Images offers the ability to use 35 million of its images for non-commercial purposes.

Granger Historical Picture Archive 
Granger is an image licensing service that provides historical images for commercial and editorial use. They maintain an extensive, easily-searchable online image archive and provide a variety of research and image modification services. Their online collections include hundreds of thousands of high-resolution still images covering a wide range of historical subjects sourced from photographs, engravings, and other physical media

JSTOR Images
Artstor features millions of high-quality images and media from some of the world’s top photo archives, museums, libraries, scholars, and artists, including rare materials not available anywhere else. Artstor’s collections also include Open Access collections from partner museums freely available to all.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
Online collections containing maps, photographs, letters, and more.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
Thousands of digitized images with catalog records from 54 historic collections. Some images in the collections are not accessible online.

LIFE Photo Archive Hosted by Google
Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today.

New York Public Library Digital Gallery
Over 800,000 images digitized from primary and rare print sources in the NYPL collections including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more. Browsable categories include Arts and Literature, Cities and Buildings, Culture and Society, History and Geography, Industry and Technology, Nature and Science, Printing and Graphics and Gallery Collections.

Smithsonian Open Access
Over 2.8 million high-resolution 2-D and 3-D images from all Smithsonian museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.

Your US Librarian

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Sue Phillips
Upper School Library
503.297.1894 x4550 (circulation desk); (503)297-1894 x4100 (voicemail)