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History of the Health Sciences: Fourth Step

Fourth Step

Fourth Step: "How do I find primary and secondary resources; collect evidence?

Using UW Resources

1) Use databases like those found in Which Databases to Use. These databases consist of bibliographic citations that sometimes link to the Full Text of the article, sometimes not. If not, FIND IT will take you into the Library Catalog record to see where the journal is held on campus. Go to that library, get the resource, and make a copy of the article. The newspaper databases are particularly useful. They are Full Text and tacitly put you right into the time period being studied. Be sure you take advantage of the date/year limits that are available in the various databases.

2) Use The Library Catalog to find primary or secondary books.

Tip #1: When looking for primary from, say the 1940s, put venereal disease in the Guided search field. Get the results of over 300 titles. Limit Results-from 1935-1950. You will notice a number of journal titles (not the content of those journals), some government documents, a couple of books. All those resources should lead you to other resources, either through their footnotes or bibliographies.

Tip #2: When looking for secondary sources about WWII, etc., put venereal disease in the Guided search field, and history in the second field. A number of them look applicable, including the social history by Allan Brandt, that might include WWII and Prostitution, Race, and Politics : Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire that might include a chapter on WWII-in either case, the footnotes might lead you to further resources.

3) Use the Historical Pamphlet Collection in the Historical Reading Room, or checking out the webpage.  There might be a government or privately issued pamphlet during the time period you are studying-which would serve as a primary resource.

Other Good Resources  

1) Google Scholar should be consulted too, as it adds more journal and book full text to its collection. Remember, if it is a book published after 1923, there are copyright restrictions, and the entire resource will not be available. Google Scholar usually has a link to Find It.

2) Use IndexCat. Though it is slightly maddening in its functionality, it is the best online source for clinical, medical, health related journal articles. It is NOT full text. Putting the journal or book title into MadCat will indicate where the original might be on campus. See IndexCat Demystified for further information.

3) Are you looking for posters or advertisements regarding about venereal disease prevention? Try the Images from the History of Medicine database from the National Library of Medicine and the Google Image Search.