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HI 198 Maritime History of the World: Resources

Spring 2020, Dr. Viktor Shmagin

Colby Libraries Databases

Colby Libraries Catalog


SEARCH our library catalog to find books, e-books, films, music, musical scores, government documents and more.

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.

Searching Tips

Use an asterisk to search all endings of a word.

ship* = ship, ships, shipping

Use quotes to glue together a phrase or name:

"Charles Darwin"

Put synonyms in parentheses with OR between each term.

(lobster* OR crustacean*)

As you find material, scan for alternative search terms in item records and references, and then try new searches.

Start with a keyword search and look for subject headings links in item records.


Photo: Glass from the Past by Charles Kaiser (Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journals are written by and for scholars. In databases, look for a option to limit results to peer-reviewed scholarly journals.


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:  Ships Through the Ages, Boston Public Library (Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Primary & Secondary Sources

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" (Library of Congress subheading) 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.

Archival Collections on the Web

A list of USEFUL RESOURCES is on your COURSE MOODLE PAGE under the Resources and Materials tab.

Here are some other suggestions.

To find even more digitized primary source material online, do a Google search for your topic adding these words and phrases:

  • digital collection* OR "digital library" OR digitized
  • "oral histories" or "oral history"
  • museum OR archiv*
  • manuscripts OR posters or photo*

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

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.


Following a Citation Trail (and finding full-text)

Check the notes, references and bibliographies of every relevant article or book.

Find full text of these items by putting article titles in OneSearch and book titles in CBBcat.

(No full-text available at Colby? Order through ILLiad.)

Search all titles in Google Scholar to see who citing that work in their notes and bibliography.

Hattendorf, John B. Ubi Sumus?: the State of Naval And Maritime History. Newport, R.I.: Naval War College Press, 1994. Footnotes on page 349

One good source can lead to another!
Look for a Cited Work using:

  • OneSearch (articles)
  • CBBcat (books, media available through Colby)
  • Hathi Trust (sometimes has full-text digital versions of older books or articles)
  • WorldCat (if can't find resource locally)

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.)

Reference & Context


Search results can include topic mind maps (e.g. Middle Passage)

Examples of OBO AH topic modules include: Atlantic Migration; Black Atlantic in the Age of Revolutions; Cod in the Atlantic World; Cook, Captain James; Oceanic History; The Pacific; Port Cities; Pre-Columbian Transatlantic Voyages; Ships and Shipping; Slave Trade, The Atlantic

Research Help Librarian

Laine Thielstrom's picture
Laine Thielstrom

Have a question? Need a consultation? Happy to "meet" via email, chat or video conferencing. Contact me with your best times.

Or "drop in" to my virtual office hours:
Tuesdays 11am-12:30pm EDT
Thursdays 9pm-10:30pm EDT
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