This course guide is intended to assist students in their research projects for the course The Art of Biography (HIST 215J), taught by Professor John Gaddis during Spring term 2023 at Yale University. The selection of resources included in this guide is not intended to be comprehensive.
Students in HIST 215J should feel free to contact any of the following librarians as a starting point for research assistance with their projects for this course.
The main search tools for finding books, articles, databases, archival collections, and more at Yale (and beyond) can all be found on the "Find, Request, and Use" page of the library's website. Here are a few quick refreshers, but be sure to visit the page for a full overview:
Searches books, e-books, journals (but not individual articles), government documents, and other physical and digital items. It's the classic catalog of Yale Library *not* including items from the Law Library. Can be used to find both primary and secondary sources.
If your topic relates to legal history or potentially involves research in legal materials, be sure to include Morris in your search, or alternatively to use Books+ (which searches both Morris and Orbis).
A combined search of the library's books, journals and journal articles, licensed databases, digitized archival collections, and more. Searches Orbis as well as Morris, which is the Law Library catalog. A vast, Google-like search, but some library materials will still not be retrieved by it, and the advanced search refinements and options to use just one part of Quicksearch or another can be key to running efficient, manageable, and successful searches.
Within Quicksearch, Articles+ can be a powerful tool for finding individual journal, newspaper, and magazine articles.
Within Quicksearch, Books+ will limit your search to the books (and reports and numerous other monographs, as opposed to journal articles) that are found across the Yale Libraries. Orbis + Morris (Law Library) collections are searched together.
The search portal for finding archival materials at Yale. Look for the Scope & Contents notes, inventories, and PDF Finding Aids to assess the relevance of materials to your research project.
Also see the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University for more information on finding, requesting, and using archival materials in the Yale Library.
Access to millions of digitized works and images from the Yale Library. This site is a living database, and new materials are added regularly.