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History: HI 149 Modern Utopias

Find Articles in Databases

SCHOLARLY JOURNAL articles are written by and for scholars. Look for a option to limit your results to peer-reviewed scholarly journals, the gold standard in academic research.  

MAGAZINES and NEWSPAPERS (although not scholarly) can be used as primary sources to show the attitudes/beliefs of a time.

Citation & Writing Help

Citation managers help you organize your research, collect citations & automatically create bibliographies.

Our Citation Software guide can help you decide which to use.


For writing help, please don't hesitate to make an appointment with the Farnham's Writers' Center. They're a fantastic free resource for Colby students!


OneSearch searches multiple resources at once. Use for very precise searches:

  • Finding a specific article
  • Finding book chapters on a writer or an artistic work
  • Finding book reviews

For best results, use limiters. 

  Photo:  Utopia by Marco Monett (Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0) 2014

What's a Primary Source?

PRIMARY SOURCES - Documents & artifacts created at or near the time of an event. The testimonies, memories and recollections of people who experienced or witnessed the event.

  • Photos or images
  • Newspaper or magazine articles/reviews of the time
  • "Personal narratives" (used in CBBcat records) and diaries
  • Interviews
  • Witness accounts
  • Official records (e.g. contracts, government documents)

SECONDARY SOURCES - Writings after the fact by people who did not experience the event. This includes the scholarly analysis found in journal articles.

Primary Source Archival Collections

In GOOGLE searches, add these words and phrases:

  • digital collection* OR "digital library" OR digitized
  • "oral histories" or "oral history"
  • museum OR archive*
  • manuscripts OR papers

For more precise results, click on: Settings > Advanced Search

  • In the Site or Domain field enter: .edu or .gov or .org

Search Tips When Using Library Resources

Use an ASTERISK to search all endings of a word: religi* = religion, religions, religious

Use QUOTATION MARKS to glue together a phrase: "oneida community"

Put synonyms in PARENTHESES with OR  between each term: (utopia OR dystopia)

Look for ALTERNATIVE SEARCH TERMS in item records and references, and then try new searches.

Start with a keyword search and look for SUBJECT HEADING LINKS in item records.



Find Books/Films in CBBcat

CBBcat, the library catalog, logo image

E-BOOKS! PRINT BOOKS! FILMS! Search our library catalog.

For PRINT MATERIAL & PHYSICAL MEDIA, note the book location and call number. The stacks in Miller, Olin and Bixler are open to browsing. To order physical items from the Colby Annex, Bates or Bowdoin: Click on

For DIGITAL MATERIALS, look for a small circular red E in the icons to the left of your results. (E-books, streams, digital documents.)

Or use the drop-downs on the CBBcat search page, for a more precise search.

Items not available in CBBcat or MaineCat? Check WorldCat and order through ILLiad, our interlibrary loan service.

History Librarian

Profile Photo
Mike McGuire
Miller 007C
Subjects: History

Other Library Guides

Need to use these resources off campus?

Off-campus users will often be able to gain access to Colby Library resources using their Colby ID and password.. But for the most reliable access, install VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your computer or device. This fools your device into thinking you're on campus! (You may also need to click on the VPN app icon every time you sign in.)

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