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What happened on Your Birthday: Step 2 EXPLORE

Using Books and Articles

Use BOOKS to find comprehensive treatment of your event or topic (the Gulf War, for example), full-length biographies of famous people related to the event or condition (for example books on the lives of General Colin Powell or Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the U.S. military during the Gulf War), and in-depth coverage of specific issues related to the topic (for example, use of biological warfare during the Persian Gulf War).

Use ARTICLES to find a shorter treatment of your topic, information on one particular aspect of the topic or event, and news and discussion of current events that might be related to your topic or event..

Using Databases

The Library provides access to  online databases which contain millions of published articles from popular magazines, scholarly journals and news sources. Some databases also include images, podcasts or videoclips. In databases, you can search for information about your event or topic in thousands of magazines and newspapers at the same time.

Electronic Resources

Step 2 - Research What Happened

Once you've selected the events and conditions you'd like to write about for your Birthday assignment, you can research each of them to find out more about them.

Remember not to depend solely on Google or your favorite search engine or Wikipedia for this part. Although there is a good amount of excellent and trustworthy information on some websites, remember that ANYbody can put words on the Web, whether they're true or not.

The PM Library has a large collection of published books and articles which can give you authoritative information on your topics, and we can also recommend some good History websites to help you flesh out the details of your report.

To begin your research, select books, articles, or websites, from the tabs above.

Finding Books in the PM Library

There are two ways to find books in the Library's print and online book collections:

  1. Search for a topic - If you want to find books on a particular aspect of your topic, use the library catalog to search for topic words and phrases such as those in the Search  box below.

  2. Browse books on the shelves - Sometimes you might simply want to browse through a whole section of the Library's books to get a "big picture" of what kinds of books are in that area of the libraries. Each book in the library has a unique call number, sort of like an adddress which arranges all the books into subject areas and which helps you find a particular book on the shelf.  Books that deal with general history usually have call numbers which start with C,D,E or F.

Search @ the Library

Search the catalog for items on the library shelves

(Use this separate link to search library databases for > articles < <  in journals, magazines, and select newspapers)

Recommended Databases

Academic OneFile
A one-stop source for news and periodical articles.

Good for articles in academic and scholarly journals.

Project Muse
Comprehensive selection of prestigious humanities and social sciences journals.



Facts on File World News Digest
World News Digest brings together nearly seven decades of news from the renowned Facts On File World News Digest in print. This archival record of domestic and international news, unrivaled for its depth, breadth, and accuracy, covers all major political, social, and economic events since November 1940.

US History Collection
This collection of over 40 journals provides balanced coverage of both the current thought and events in US History, as well as scholarly work being established in the field; useful both to the novice historian and to the advanced academic researcher.

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