Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

History 350: Library Class

Strategies for finding place-based & community information:

Consider who has had stakes in creating, holding, preserving, making info accessible.

Try multiple ways into the same repository. Indexing can vary.

Build OR statements based on what you find.

Use available facets to surface formats you need.

Search within key sources - ctrl/cmd+f, other tools

Nanaimo Free Press [Thursday, May 23, 1895]

from: Thom, B. (2005). Coast Salish senses of place...

beaver squĺéẇ

[Castor canadensis Kuhl] • The beaver is a large water-dwelling rodent found throughout British Columbia and much of Canada...

- from Hul'qumi'num' Words: An English-to-Hul'qumi'num' and Hul'qumi'num'-to-English Dictionary. Prepared for the Chemainus, Nanaimo, and Nanoose First Nations and Nanaimo School District No. 68, December, 1997.
Retrieved from

What qualifies as a "primary" source?


  • individuals such as
  • government such as
  • organizations such as
  • ...?


  • what lies between you and the source
  • digitized sources and marginal voices: what is prioritized, what is susceptible to loss
  • ownership, interest, perspective, positionality
  • cultural property

examples & issues

"Fresh Columbia Salmon, British Columbia Packing Co.; Indian Brand "; from MS I/BA/C67.1

Missionary and settler sources

Indigenous sources

Problems & strategies

Exploring the dimensions of the topic

Identify key words and concepts.

Note and use relationships among concepts: broader, narrower, related; synonyms, orthographies, changes in language and usage over time.


Coast Salish, Hulquminum, Hul'qumi'num, Chemainus, Stz'uminus, Shts'um'inus...

("salmon canning" OR "salmon cannery" OR "salmon canneries" OR "fish cannery" OR "fish canneries")

Note questions that arise as you go.

Consider keeping a journal for your project.

Where to look for scholarly, secondary sources depends on the nature and scope of your topic

Tracing the scholarly conversation

One useful work may help to locate other useful primary and secondary sources:

Look at references (footnotes, endnotes, bibliography) to trace the sources the author used.

Use Google Scholar "cited by" or LibrarySearch "cited by these articles" to find more recent works that mention an interesting work that you've found.


Google Scholar Search

Selected resources for Chicago Style

VIU Footer