Professor: Elizabeth Pritchard
Librarian: Carmen Greenlee
The best place to begin your research can vary, but usually you will first want to gather background information on your topic. Or, perhaps, you have a few topics in mind and just want to read a little bit about each one before making a choice. Reference sources often are the best place to accomplish these things. They're terrific at laying out basic information about a topic: a chronicle of its history; current status; key events; key people; and most importantly, a bibliography of additional sources.
Try searching this collection of online reference sources:
Type in words or short phrases like "Branch Davidians" or "Aum Shinrikyo."
Or try these hard copy sources in the reference section on the main floor of H-L Library:
Once you have gathered background on your topic, you'll want to proceed to books and journal articles. Because articles tend to focus on a very narrow topic, it's best that your topic be sufficiently narrow in scope; otherwise you may be overwhelmed by the number of results when you conduct a search. Reference sources above can help you narrow your topic.
Note: Don't underestimate the value of browsing the book stacks! After you have found a book on your topic, take a little time to glance at books to the left and right on the shelf; you may come across the perfect one! In addition, you may want to browse virtually in the Bowdoin catalog: look for "Tags" or "Similar Books" when you have a record on the screen.
Note: These article databases do not always contain the full text of articles. If it is not available through the database, look for the "Check availability @ Bowdoin" link. This will tell you if we subscribe to the journal through another database. If not, then use the interlibrary loan request form.