Finding Books and Book Reviews

Finding Books, Book Reviews and Articles

Holly Yu
JFK Memorial Library, CSULA; (323) 343-4993

Step One -- Finding a right database to do your search
  • The databases you need to use for this class are: 
    • JSTOR (Full Text )
    • America: History and Life (Index & Abstracts)
    • Historical Abstracts (Index & Abstracts)
    • Project Muse (Full Text)
  • How to find them?
    • Click on Databases from the Library Web Home Page
    • Select your databases from the alphabetical list of the databases on the left side of the page. Or,  
    • If you are not sure of which database to use, go to the "Databases by Subject" page, scroll down to Social Sciences, and click on History. 
      You will see a list of databases displayed on the left side of the screen for History.  You can select a database to start your search from the Journal Articles-Primary list.
Step Two -- Thinking about a short list of search terms you should use for your
  • For example, if your research topic is about labor conditions during the Great Depression, you could use the following keywords:
    • great depression
    • farmers, factory workers, or labor
    • labor conditions
    • new deal
    • rough shacks, dust bowl, hoovervilles
  • If you are not sure of what keywords to use, you can check the Library of Congress Subject Headings  (5 volumes) located at the north end of the reference desk.
Step Three -- Conducting searches
    JSTOR is a full-text database which means you can read your full-text search results online


    • type a word or phrase in the first search box, make sure to select "full text" in the right drop down box, e.g. great depression
    • type another word or phrase if necessary to narrow down your search in the second search box, e.g. new deal
    • check the box next to History under "Select Subjects /Journals to search"
    • under "Limit by type", make sure Articles is checked/selected
    • type in date range under "Limit by Date Range" as required by your professor. 
    • click Search button

    Search Result

    • each search result page displays 10 records, if your search yielded more than 10 records, you need to click on Next to go to next page after you finish viewing your first group of 10 records.
    • You can either print or download (save to your floppy disc ) the article(s) you need for your research. 
  • America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts
    America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts are not a full-text databases. The search result only shows you citations and abstracts. After you find a useful article, you need to write down or print the full citation of the article, and conduct another search using Library Catalog to find out if the library carries this particular journal that contains the article you need. If there is a copy of this particular journal in the library, you need to write down the call number, and the Periodical area is located on A Level, Library North. If the library doesn't carry this journal, you need to submit an Interlibrary Loan request if time permits.

    Search America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts

    • Type search terms in Keyword search box using AND to link between each keyword or key phrase. e.g great depression and new deal
    • To limit your search, you need to switch to the Advanced Search screen.  The Advanced Search allows searching by keyword, subject terms, author/editor, title or title translation, language, document type, journal name, publication date, and time period. 
    • If you are looking for a type of documents, click on the magnifying glass to the right of the Document Type box
    • select Article, then click on Paste Terms button.  You will see |Article| showing in Document Type box
    • click on Search button.  

    Search Result

    • click on Display Full Entry button to view full citation display of each search result.
    • write down or print out the author, title of the article, and citation or source in some cases, and get ready to conduct searches for the journals you need using Library Online Catalogs.

    Use CLIO Notes

    • The CLIO Notes interface guides you through History by allowing you to browse through chronologies and hundreds of brief summaries of significant events and themes. 
    • At the end of your exploration you will be provided with suggested research topics related to your area of interest and an easy-to-use search screen that will allow you to search the entire database for articles, book and media reviews, and dissertations. 

    CLIO Alert 

    • CLIO Alert allows you to set up a research profile and then e-mails yourself when items matching your profile are added to the database of choice. 
    • The screens for setting up a new profile or modifying an existing one can be reached via the link on the search screen. 


  • Search Library Catalog
    • from the Library Web's homepage (/sites/default/files/library),_ click onLibrary Catalogs, and click on Periodicals button to select Periodical search.
    • type in the title of the journal you are looking for, and make sure the title radio button selected if you do exact title search. Otherwise, you can use Keyword search if you don't want to type in the whole title.
      for example:
      Title search:           Journal of American History
      Keyword search:   journal american history
    • You will see a result display page like this:

       Take a look at the Coverage box, and make sure the library has the issue you are looking for. Then you can click on Library Catalog to find the shelf location number (call number)  for this journal. 
    • after you click on Library Catalog, you will see another page showing you shelf location for that particular journal:

    • go to Periodical North-A area to locate the journal on shelf, and make photocopy. 
    • In many cases, a particular journal may be covered by another database. In this case, the Journal of American History is also covered by JSTOR.  You can conduct a same search using JSTOR to find the full- text article.
Step Four - Searching for Book Reviews
                Repeat the same search as you did for articles, instead of selecting articles, you
                should select Book Reviews for both JSTOR and America: History and Life.

                When you search for book reviews, make sure you use the keywords from the 
                book title and you can also use author's last name as a combined keyword search.

      Another way to search for articles and book reviews on America:
      History & Life
is to use CLIO Notes.

                For example,
                if you search for reviews for a book titled In the New Deal in the Urban South by
                Douglas L. Smith, you could type in the following: