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**HON 1000: ‘Going Steady?’: Documenting the History of Dating in American Culture, 1940-1990 (Anderson/Fall 2018)

Class Location: Library Classroom 2, Library North 2

Class will be meeting today (October 4) in Library Classroom 2.

Please bring your topic paragraphs and keywords with you to turn in.

We will be using your keywords for in-class searching. 

Short Topic Papers: Due in class, October 4

Your short topic paper is due in class on Thursday, October 4.

Please bring a print copy of your paper to class to be turned in.

In this paper, I'll be looking for:

A paragraph (or two, or however many work for you) outlining:

  • What your topic is
  • Directions you might go with this topic (especially if your topic is broad or abstract)
    • Could include: things you are particularly curious about, hope to find, or are wondering if it's possible to find
    • Also could include any difficulties you think you might run into (some of you may be more aware of these than others


A list of five keywords or phrases that you think might be useful for starting to search for materials

* * * * *

This assignment is meant to help you sort out possible search terms and starting points for finding your 10 primary sources related to your topic. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, concerns, etc. about your topic over the course of the semester!

Searching for Digital Collections Online: Freely Available Websites


Many libraries and organizations are making digital materials available online.

To find these collections, use this search string in Google or another search engine, in addition to keywords relevant to your topic, for example:

digital collection [YOUR KEYWORD/WORDS HERE]

You can also try the same search limiting to site:org rather than site:edu BUT:

Be careful!

EDU = educational institution
ORG = organization, which can mean almost ANY kind of noncorporate organization. If you aren't familiar with the organization, do some research on it! Who are they? What do they promote? Are they reliable?

In this era of "fake news," don't just trust the information you see on a website's "About Us" tab or page. 
Google the organization and learn more about them
from other sources

* * *

Questions to ask when you are assessing freely available online primary-source collections:

  • Who is the author or creator of the page/site? Is there an institution involved? What is the name of the institution?
  • What are the credentials of the author or institution (what qualifies the author or institution to present these sources objectively? Do they represent a university? A library? An individual?)
  • Who sponsors the site? Is there information about funding?

Use Google and other sources to research the authors, organizations, or institutions responsible for the page and for its funding. Don't just trust the About page!

  • What is the purpose of the site - To inform? To entertain?, To sell you something? To argue for a certain point of view?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Are the sources cited? Where did the author(s) get the information?
  • Can the information on the page be verified with other sources? 
  • How current is the information? How recently has the website been updated?**
    (**This question may be less important for historians looking for historical primary sources.

Digital Collections at GSU

Selected database collections. These are GSU subscription resources requiring a campus ID and password for off-campus access.

For a full list of our subscription databases (including primary-source digital collections) see our Databases A-Z list

For historical periodical databases, see the Historical Periodicals tab.

For historical newspaper databases, see the Historical Newspapers tab/guide.

Selected Web collections: US History

I expect to be adding more trustworthy online collections here as class goes on and as we work with your particular topics. 

Umbra and DPLA are excellent starting points for primary sources on a broad range of topics.

How Do I Find Newspaper Articles? Selected Newspaper Databases Available at GSU

All of these historical newspaper databases are ProQuest products, meaning that searching will work the same way in all of them (so, once you've tried searching in the New York Times one in class, you'll be familiar with how to start searching in any of these databases).

For more information about GSU's newspaper holdings, see the Newspapers research guide.

Government Documents Resources

See also our Government Information guide.

Depending on your topic, you might want to identify government sources (Congressional testimony, for example) and/or Supreme Court cases.

For example:

Books Available Online

These online collections include digital versions of many out-of-copyright works including government documents, historical magazines and other periodicals, and books published before 1923. Coverage can be spotty, but these sites are worth searching...  just in case.

Resources Available Online