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AAADS 20A: Introduction to the History of Asians in the United States: Finding Articles/Primary Sources

Library guide for AAADS 20 (Fall 2017) with Professor Michael Omi.


Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (as in the case of memoirs).  They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer.  Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period

A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon.  It is generally at least one step removed from the event is often based on primary sources.  Examples include:  scholarly or popular books and articles, reference books, and textbooks.

To find secondary sources in book form, search the library catalogs:   OskiCat or MELVYL  (about).  To find articles that are secondary sources, search an article database, such as America:  History and Life (US and Canada) or Historical Abstracts (world history).

Article Databases

Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic.  The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

In order to access the Library's databases, go to Library Home > click on Databases, then click on: Browse Databases

Pull down the "All Subjects" menu to Asian American Studies 

Here are some databases that may be useful for secondary source material:

Here are some databases that might be useful for primary source material:

Search Results

  • click on the title to see full record (including abstracts and descriptors)
  • to limit by publication type (peer-reviewed journals, conferences, books, etc.) click on the appropriate tab or link
  • if necessary,look for other limits (latest update, journal articles only, english only) and more advanced searches
  • select records to save to your personalized list; lists may be e-mailed, downloaded, printed

Navigating Article Search Results in ANY Database

Navigating flow chart

Modified from document created by Laura McClanathan, UCSC.

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