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HIST 405: Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Searching Tips

Strategies for Using Historical Newspapers

  • Use the Advanced Search options - particularly the Publication Date setting
  • Try searching for words that would have been used during different time periods:
    • "Color line" instead of segregation
    • Indians instead Native Americans
    • Negro or colored instead of African American
    • "Lunatic asylum" instead of "mental hospital"
  • Use the asterisk (*) to search for variant endings:
    • immigra* searches for immigrant, immigrants, immigration, immigrate, etc.
    • suffrag* searches for suffrage, suffragist, suffragette, etc.
  • Use quotations to search for exact phrases:
    • "National Park"‚Äč
    • "League of Nations"
  • Use AND between search terms to look for all the words:
    • marriage AND morality
    • electricity AND invention
  • Use OR between similar words to search for either term, but not necessarily both.
    • law OR act OR legislation
    • "lunatic asylum" OR "insane asylum"
  • Use NEAR/n to search for two words or phrases within close proximity (ProQuest newspapers only):
    • war NEAR/6 veterans
    • natural NEAR/4 environment
  • Combine search tools to create advanced search strategies:
    • Eugenics AND (population OR "birth rate")
    • Religio* NEAR/5 "public schools"

Be creative in trying different terminology and combinations! Searching is a process of trial and error. Not everything you try will be effective and that's okay. There isn't one "right" search strategy to find everything that you want.

Contact Info

Kathy Snediker's picture
Kathy Snediker
Contact:
Research & Instruction
Thomas Cooper Library
snediker@mailbox.sc.edu
803-777-4866