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History of Nevada: Getting Started

How to locate primary and secondary sources about topics in the history of Nevada.

Off-Campus Access to Digital Resources

The databases listed in this Research Guide are available only to Truckee Meadows Community College students, faculty and staff.  You will need your TMCC credentials (Username and Password) to access them off-campus.

Where to Begin?

Refer to two other Research Guides for additional help and resources:  Geology of Nevada and History Resources.

Procedure for effective searching:

  • Determine the broad topic.
    • Write down the words you associate with that topic.  These will be Keywords.
    • You may discover that there are search terms (keywords or key phrases) that work better than this term in finding information. 
    • You have to do preliminary research to do effective research.
  • Identify related topics associated with the topic by browsing a variety of sources (related topics will help to generate more keywords to use to narrow the search, that is, to make the search results more specific):
    • Internet.
    • Books.
    • Electronic books.
    • Library reference databases.
    • Library periodical databases.
  • Turn your topics into effective search terms.
    • Decide if your search term is a commonly used phrase, e.g., “american history,” or two separate ideas, e.g., “united states” and “history.” 
    • Combine terms.  Why combine terms?
      • Combining terms is a step in Boolean algebra.  See the Boolean Machine for visual examples of Boolean searches.
      • Some databases supply the AND for you.  Read search suggestions or HELP before searching a database.
      • Or combine phrases,using the command AND, e.g., “united states” AND “civil war."
        • Combine terms to reduce the number of retrieved items.
        • Combine terms to make the search more relevant.
      • Combine again, if needed, e.g., "united states" AND "civil war" AND "gettysburg."
    • Keep track of which terms you have used and whether they were successful.
      • Write the search terms down.
  • Identify credible sources, that is, reliable sources. 
    • See our links on evaluating the credibility of web sites for more information.
    • Library databases are purchased because they provide a greater likelihood of finding credible sources than an open search on the World Wide Web.
  • Browse results of your search at each stage to determine if you have found relevant sources.  Retrieved items do not have to be perfect!  You can use relevant portions.
  • Be sure to write down which documents you have used, if you have not made a print out or obtained a copy.
  • If necessary, modify your search term(s) and try again.
  • Ask the librarian for help.

Historic Virginia City, Nevada

Librarian

Neil Siegel's picture
Neil Siegel
Contact:
775-674-7608
Subjects:History