Library Guide for Searching America: History & Life
This guide is designed to help students use America: History & Life. The tutorial will include a description of America: History & Life, use and purpose of the database, proposed search approaches, and information on how to obtain material indexed by the database.
America: History & Life indexes 1,700 history journals and magazines from 1964 to present. Much of the database focuses on providing journal article citations and abstracts, and citations to book reviews. However, the database also provides citations to dissertations, media, selected collected works, and links to full text articles.
Use and Purpose
America: History & Life is the most comprehensive history journal index provided by the NSU Library. Some of the material indexed by this database will be available either in the Library's print collection or on another Library database. Full text articles are also sometimes found on America: History & Life. However, many of the items found on the database will require the use of another database, the print collection, or interlibrary loan services, which will be discussed at the end of this guide.
The default search screen on America: History & Life provides a single search box for simple, quick searches. Although the default search screen can be quite useful for conducting quick searches, the "Advanced" search screen provides a variety of powerful tools which can be used to more closely zero in on a topic. To utilize the advanced search option, click on the "Advanced Search" tab (see below).
There are many options and features available on the Advanced Search screen. These features can be used to broaden or narrow a search with the use of the field search options. Searches can also be more focused by limiting the publication year(s) to be searched, or by restricting the historical time period being researched. Other features can be used to limit the search results to a particular journal, or to restrict the search results to full text or linked full text only. However, before limiting the search results to full text only, remember that many of the citations contained in America: History & Life are not accompanied by full text articles. (Below is an illustration of the Advanced Search screen.)
Finding items found on America: History & Life that are not available on the database in full text:Nearly any article found indexed on America: History & Life can be obtained in full text by taking one or more of the following approaches:
1. Some articles found on America: History & Life are available in full text on the database.
2. Some articles can be found in full text by using the "Linked Full Text" option on the America: History & Life's Advanced Search screen (see illustration above).
3. If neither of the above options are available for retrieving the full text of an article, the item may be found in full text on another database. To find out if another library database provides an article in full text, search the periodical title (not article title) in the "Title begins with" search box in Serial Solutions. Below is an illustration of the Serials Solutions search box, which can be retrieved by clicking on the link in the preceding sentence.
4. If none of the above approaches retrieve the article in full text, check the periodical title in the online catalog to see if the library owns a paper or microform copy of the item.
5. Still, if none of the above approaches work for obtaining the article in full text, then Interlibrary Loan services can be of assistance. To learn about interlibrary loan policies and procedures, and for information on how to utilize this service either on campus or as a distance education student, please contact the Interlibrary Loan office or the resource coordinator listed below. One key to using interlibrary loan services successfully is to start your research early so that interlibrary loan requests will arrive in time. On average, it takes about ten business days to obtain material through interlibrary loan. However, keep in mind that the closer the lending the library is to NSU, generally the quicker the item will be received. Therefore, using the Oklahoma Union Catalog to help identify resources is a very effective way to obtain interlibrary loan items as quickly as possible.
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Last Updated: June 27, 2008