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History: HI 297 History of the U.S. West

Find Articles

Note the type of publication an article is in.
* Scholarly journals are the primary conduit of academic research.
* Magazines can provide popular perspectives or alternative voices.
* Newspapers can offer the most current information or show attitudes and feelings of a certain time.

Scholarly Journals

Look for options in databases to limit your results to articles in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

Articles in scholarly journals, especially when PEER-REVIEWED are particularly important to academic research. They:

  • provide in-depth analysis or report original research
  • use in-text citations and bibliographies
  • are written by and for scholars

Writing & Citation Help

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

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


  Photo:  Mesa Verde in Colorado by Jerry & Pat Donaho (Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Primary Sources: Historical Newspapers & Magazines

Primary Sources - Archival Collections

Find other digitized primary source material: Do a Google search for your topic or person and add these words and phrases:

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

For a more precise search, from the Google results, click on: Settings > Advanced Search 
You can then narrow your search by entering .edu or .gov or .org in the Site or Domain box

Search Tips

  1. Use an asterisk to search all endings of a word: immigr* = immigration, immigrant, immigrants, immigrated
  2. Use quotes to glue together a phrase: "Oregon trail"
  3. Put synonyms in parentheses with OR between each term: ("native american" OR indigenous)
  4. As you find material, scan for alternative search terms in item records and references, and then try new searches.
  5. Start with a keyword search and look for subject headings links in item records.



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. 

Find Books & Media

SEARCH our library catalog

To order items from Colby Storage, Bates or Bowdoin: Click on

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

Reference: Background Info, Statistics, Legal

Course Librarian

Laine Thielstrom's picture
Laine Thielstrom

Contact me by email or chat (send me a Google Hangouts invite). Or let's talk about your research or information need on Google Meet or Zoom!

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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