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History Course Guides: History 440/550 Silk Road

Course Guides Used for Library Instruction in History Research

History 440/550

History 440/550 Silk Road (Fall 2022)
Greg Armento, History Librarian,
Fall Online (E-mail, Chat or Zoom)

University Library PAGE Is the place to start. It contains an overview of library research services available.


  • OneSearch Search Techniques 
    • If you are looking for a phrase "silk roadput  your terms in quotation marks. It will force word adjacency.
    • If you want word variants, use an asterisk* at the end of a word. Entering "trade route*" will produce "trade route" OR "trade routes"
    • If you want synonyms, put similar terms in parenthesis and use capital OR. (silk OR cloth OR spices OR goods)
    • To get results with higher relevancy to you topic, in this hyperlink, enter subject keyword searches. These may produce results with higher relevancy to your search

Here is a list of books we have that might pertain to this topic.


  • CSU+ To rapidly get books that we don't have, (within 2-4 days) from other CSU libraries. 
  • BEACH REACH Use to get journal articles we don't own delivered rapidly to your desktop.


Here is a list of a few books that might have primary content, including modern documentaries on medieval trade routes or silk road.

  • Try combining the subject keywords below with the phrase "silk road" to find content  with emphasis on material culture, visuals

architect*    art*    film*    cinema    motion picture*    painting*     sculpture*    clothing    costum*     dress    material culture    furniture   artifact*    pictorial    photograph* 

Here is Another method to find primary accounts: Find old travel journeys or narratives.

Research Databases Red dates indicate primary source option

To find articles in many of our databases, look for the SFX icon in each citation. It may look like this  get it at csulb It’s a shortcut to finding the article online.

  • Academic Search Complete  Accesses nearly 6000 full text interdisciplinary journals. Coverage: 1990 to date.
  • Anthropology Plus. Worldwide archaeological and anthropological research.
  • Brepolis Medieval Bibliographies  Covers the historical period from 300-1500 AD. Europe, the Mideast and North Africa are the database’s focus. Indexes journal articles, books & conference proceedings.
  • Collections Search Center 1000 BC to Present. Find millions of artifacts in massive Smithsonian collections nationwide.
  • Getty Images. 1000 BC to Present. Contains thousands of journalistic and artistic images that can be viewed for free. Select "editorial" image option. Great for primary visual sources
  • Historical Abstracts (for World History).  These are the two premier scholarly periodical indexes for historical content published since the mid 1950s.  Both databases may be searched simultaneously. See this example..
  • JSTOR Journal Archive  An archive of core scholarly full text journals going back to the 1800s. Contains selected journals in the social sciences and humanities.
  • L’Année Philologique 500 BCE -500 CE Greek and Roman Antiquity
  • Project Muse Contains over 200 full text, scholarly, frequently used journals in the humanities and social sciences journals from the 1960s to date.

FINDING Museum artifacts,

ArchivesGrid includes over 4 million records describing archival materials, historical documents, personal papers, family histories, from over 1000 different archives.

Citing Historical Materials

Google tips and techniques

‚Äčto find specific sites at types of domains, and websites based in other countries:

site:edu (to find sites located at colleges, universities)

site:org (to find sites at nonprofit organizations)

site:gov (to find government sites, government documents)

site:ru (stands for Russia. Use two letter country codes for domains in a country. 

  • Use Google Scholar to find wide array of scholarly journal articles.
  • Use Google Books to find research snippets in scanned books. If the book reads PREVIEW you are in luck! You may be able to read 20% of the book, and maybe entire chapter.