Review How to Do Research
Refresh your information literacy skills here: Information Literacy Tutorials.
Free Web vs. the Invisible or Deep Web
Although there is a great deal of good free information available on the free web, there is often better quality and more reliable information available through databases. Much of that information was first published in books and magazines, then sold and agregated into online databases. That information is not ususally free, no more than the original printed sources were free. Publishers often earn a great deal of money by selling the previously published content to information vendors who, in turn, resells the content to libraries who make it available for their patrons.
Note: Be especially cautious of Wikipedia. Read more here about why.
The following Steps will guide you in finding images and historical information for your project of analyzing an image from popular culture and its context.
Step 1: Find an Image
Pick from one on the following Library books:
|Life: 100 Events that Shook Our World TR820 O546 2005|
|Century: One Hundred Years of Human Progress, Regression, Suffering and Hope REF D26 C46|
|Life: Our Century in Pictures REF CB425 L44|
|Photos That Changed the World TR820 P567 2000|
Step 2: Find Background Information
One very easy way to start is search in online encyclopedias or dictionaries. For instance, Britannica Online has basic information on a huge range of topics. Click on the Library Databases button.
There are books which you can browse which will be extremely helpful to you in learning about the cultural, social, and historical context of a particular time or period.
|20th Century Day by Day: 100 years of News
REF D422 C53
|Headlines and front pages of newspapers from 1900 through 1999. This should be your first stop to find out what else was going on for your time period.|
|This Fabulous Century - 7 volumes
REF E161 T55
|One volume per decade beginning with 1900-1950. Overview of the popular culture of the period. Mostly images.|
|Ads That Put America on Wheels
HF6161 A9 D74
|Early 1900s through 1960s. Shows through actual ads how automobiles were marketed.|
|Advertising and the Motorcar
HF6161 A8 F74
|Early 1900s through 1960s. Shows through actual ads how automobiles were marketed. An essay is included.|
|American Century: Art & Culture 1900-1950
|Based on a Whitney exhibition, this is an in-depth overview of art of the period.|
|American Decades - 4 volumes
REF E169.12 A419
|One volume per decade beginning with 1950s. Organized with chapters on world events, education, politics, lifestyles, media, the arts, etc.|
|Fashions of a Decade - 8 volumes
REF GT596 C837
|Just fashion. We have the '20s through the '90s.|
Hulton Getty Picture Collection - 6 volumes
|One volume per decade. All pictures with captions. We have the '20s through the '70s.|
Websites of Interest
|Ad Access||Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.
|AdFlip||Archive of classic ads from 1940 to the present.
|American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century||The purpose of these pages is to present a series of web guides on the decades of the twentieth century. The pages are prepared by the Reference Librarians. Period pictures used.
|American Memory||Thematic access to images, sound recordings, web sites, and other documents on American cultural history. Provided by the Library of Congress.|
|Year by Year 1900-2001||
This site describes historic events of the twentieth century by year and by decade.
Step 3: Find an Article About Your Topic
Once you've browsed and become more familiar with the cultural context of your photo, you should be able to create a list of generalized subjects that you can search for in the Library's databases. You should be able to find one or two in-depth articles in ProQuest, eLibrary, and Wilson Omni. Remember: Each databases is much smaller than the entire web. If you put in a very specific term and get no hits, you will need to broaden your search. See also: How to Clarify Your Topic.
Step 4: The Bibliography
The librarians and the library staff are available. Ask for reference/research assistance at any time. It's our job. You're not bothering us.