Western Civilization

Books used in this class (Fall 2018)

  • Dead wake : the last crossing of the Lusitania  by Erik Larson
  • The Great Wave  by David H. Frisher
  • The Great Revollt  by Salena Zito
  • The 11th Day: September 11, 2001  by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan
  • The problem with socialism  by Thomas J. Dilorenzo
  • The Zimmermann Telegram  by Barbara Tuchman (1 copy on Reserve)

 Start here: Search through all of our databases simultaneously.

Multidisciplinary Databases

Database Details
Academic Search Premier Academic Search Premier
An EBSCO database.
Credo Reference Center Credo Reference Center
Encyclopiedias, dictionaries and handbooks -- online.
eBook Central eBook Central Search through our largest college-level eBook collection.
Nexis Uni Nexis Uni (a.k.a. Lexis Nexis) 
For newspapers, business and law.
Oxford Reference Online Oxford Reference Online
Encyclopiedias, dictionaries and handbooks -- online.

Subject Databases
Literary Criticism, Biography, History and Genealogy

Database Details
ALE Ancestry Library Edition 
Want to find your ancestors, but don't know where to start?  Research your family history with this genealogy database. Get started with the ALE Guide. Not all records are available online, such as current Birth and Marriage records.  You may find references in geneaology databases, but the records, themselves are not online.
Massachusetts has great records through the Massachusetts State Archives :
Also check out Familysearch.org, the Mormon site. You do not have to set up an account, just click Search, then Records, then Location.
Literary Resource Center Literary Resource Center
Full-text articles from scholarly journals and literary magazines are combined with critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, biographies, and more to provide a wealth of information on authors, their works, and literary movements. Find critical essays about published literature.
Biography in Context Biography in Context
Has more than 528,000 biographies — spanning history and geography.
Films on Demand Films on Demand
Includes streaming video segments on topics in history.
U.S History in Context U.S History in Context
Provides a complete overview of our nation’s past that covers the most-studied events, decades, conflicts, wars, political and cultural movements, people, and more.
World History in Context World History in Context
Provides an overview of world history that covers the most-studied events, periods, cultures, civilizations, religions, conflicts, wars, ideologies, cultural movements, people, and more.
AtoZ Maps Online AtoZ Maps Online
Modern, ancient and thematic maps you can download, print and use in your coursework.

Topic Overviews and Arguments

Database Details
CQ Researcher CQ Researcher
Current issue overviews, historical backgrounds, chronologies and pro/con lists.
Issues & Controversies in American History Issues & Controversies in American History
Combines authoritative factual accounts with in-depth explanations of opposing points of view.
Opposing Views in Context Opposing Views in Context
Current issues with pro/con viewpoint essays and topic overviews.

Citation Resources: Chicago Manual of Style

Resource Details
Chicago Manual of Style Chicago Manual of Style
Examples of Chicago-Style documentation for (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date.
Knight Cite Knight Cite
A free citation maker from Calvin College
Purdue OWL Purdue OWL
Guide to Chicago Manual of Style from Purdue University

Reliable Websites

Mapping History: The Darkwing Atlas Project
Socio- and political maps of 18th and 19th century United States; classical age Mediterranean. Some maps require Shockwave plug-in.
Suggested Viking Routes from 8th-11th Century CE

BBC History

The Online Medieval and Classical Library

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Evaluating Resource Credibility

Question Answer
Who is the author? Credible sources are written by authors respected in their fields of study. Responsible, credible authors will cite their sources so that you can check the accuracy of and support for what they've written. (This is also a good way to find more sources for your own research.)
How recent is the source? The choice to seek recent sources depends on your topic. While sources on the American Civil War may be decades old and still contain accurate information, sources on information technologies, or other areas that are experiencing rapid changes, need to be much more current.
What is the author's purpose? When deciding which sources to use, you should take the purpose or point of view of the author into consideration. Is the author presenting a neutral, objective view of a topic? Or is the author advocating one specific view of a topic? Who is funding the research or writing of this source? A source written from a particular point of view may be credible; however, you need to be careful that your sources don't limit your coverage of a topic to one side of a debate.
What type of sources does your audience value? If you are writing for a professional or academic audience, they may value peer-reviewed journals as the most credible sources of information. If you are writing for a group of residents in your hometown, they might be more comfortable with mainstream sources, such as Time or Newsweek. A younger audience may be more accepting of information found on the Internet than an older audience might be.
Be especially careful when evaluating Internet sources! Never use Web sites where an author cannot be determined, unless the site is associated with a reputable institution such as a respected university, a credible media outlet, government program or department, or well-known non-governmental organizations. Beware of using sites like Wikipedia, which are collaboratively developed by users. Because anyone can add or change content, the validity of information on such sites may not meet the standards for academic research.