The information included in this outline can be used to unearth material on any subject. One of the best ways to learn about a subject new to you is to first read about it in the Young Adult (YA) library section, and when you are ready, then go on to adult material.
- The Librarian is the most prized and valuable resource in the library. Ask questions! This is their job and they are usually very happy to help out.
- Books can usually be checked out, however most books you will want to use will be non-circulating, nonfiction reference material.
- Card Catalogs are a listing of each book in the library. Each book is listed on a separate card in each of three separate Card Catalog files. This allows the researcher to find material even if the title and/or the author is unknown.
The Card Catalogs are classed as follows with a sample listing shown:
- AUTHOR: Garrett, Charles L.
- TITLE: MODERN METAL DETECTORS
- SUBJECT: Metal Detector Usage
SOME LIBRARIES HAVE REPLACED OR SUPPLEMENTED CARD FILES WITH COMPUTERIZED LISTINGS.
Your library will have nonfiction books separated by category numerically in one of the following standardized ways: "Dewey Decimal" or "Library of Congress." (Ask your librarian.) The numbers on the shelves make it easy to locate books and will follow through consecutively.
How to find reference materials when the card catalog doesn't have an adequate listing for the subject you require
Located near the Card Catalog you will find several directories:
- "SUBJECT GUIDE" - This book will give alternative headings to look under for information. In the following example: TREASURE TROVE refers you to ARCHAEOLOGY, BEACHCOMBING, LOST ARTICLES, SUNKEN TREASURE, ETC. Then you simply return to the Subject Card Catalog.
- "BOOKS IN PRINT" - This book will allow you to find information about other published books, listed by title or author, that are not in your library's card catalogs. (There are two editions of this, one for hardcover books, and one for paperback.)
- "FORTHCOMING BOOKS" - This lists books that will soon be available, and if you scan this occasionally, you MAY just get there before that other guy.
YOUR LIBRARY'S HOLDINGS MAY NOT BE COMPLETE ENOUGH FOR YOUR PARTICULAR RESEARCH PROJECT
Most libraries participate in an "INTERLIBRARY LOAN COOPERATIVE" and will be able to "order in" books at your request.
OTHER LIBRARIES TO MAKE USE OF WHEN YOU CAN GAIN ACCESS
Historical Societies, Colleges, Public or Private Schools, Hospitals, Religious, Municipal, Legal, Surveyor, AND the U.S. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
PERIODICALS are another major source of information and include: NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES. There are directories to assist you in locating specific information in these publications. You can get quite specific as in the following example: Look up NIXON and you will find inauguration, resignation, China, etc. For each you will be given the name of a periodical, the issue number and the page number.
Two of the major Periodical Directories are "READERS' GUIDE TO PERIODICAL LITERATURE," AND "ULRICH'S (INTERNATIONAL) PERIODICAL DIRECTORY." Some periodicals, usually newspapers, will be stored on "microfiche" (film) to save storage space. This material can usually be photocopied to full size.
OTHER USEFUL DIRECTORIES YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT. *IMPORTANT* - BEFORE USING EACH OF THE FOLLOWING BOOKS, READ THE "HOW TO USE THIS BOOK" AT THE FRONT!
- "FACTS ON FILE" This is a weekly worldwide news digest.
- ENCYCLOPEDIAS, CATALOGS, DIRECTORIES, ETC. *The following books are fascinating and invaluable.
A. "THE DIRECTORY OF DIRECTORIES" EDITED BY MARLOW & THOMAS
B. "THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ASSOCIATIONS" EDITED BY KOEK & MARTIN
C. “THE CATALOGUE OF CATALOGUES" EDITED BY DELA IGLESIA
TO THE TREASURE HUNTER, one of the most valuable areas in the library is the room that houses the local and regional history.
YOUR TOWN section will have its own book card catalog which will be listed in the following general way: GENERAL HISTORIES, GENEALOGICAL MATERIAL, VITAL RECORDS, MILITARY, CENSUS. ADDITIONALLY THERE WILL BE FILES CONTAINING CLIPPINGS, PAMPHLETS, ILLUSTRATIONS, PHOTOGRAPHS, ETC.
There will be a MAP CATALOG listing geographical, chronological, and topographic maps.
Specific texts of use to most people doing historical research
- THE "ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NEW ENGLAND" edited by O'Brien & Brown.
- "SEARCH & RESEARCH" by Noel C. Stevenson, Published by Deseret Book Co. Salt Lake City, UT. This is an invaluable guide that contains sources for research, various official record listings, as well as specific information for each state.
- "THE CIVIL WAR ALMANAC" edited by John S. Bowman, World Almanac Publications, NY, NY. This is a neatly blocked out chronological dated listing of how the war unfolded, and includes the history of weapons, battles, and major individuals. Special attention is given to naval history.
Remember... Each and every bit of research material may have some misinformation! So check and double-check before undertaking any extensive travel or getting prematurely excited. HAPPY HUNTING!
© 1988 Detector Electronics Corp.