General Search Strategies

Before you start your project, you should begin to define your topic and look for background information.

The ANTPAC catalog will give you information about the books, government documents, maps, videotapes, sound recordings, music scores and other types of material that the library owns. ANTPAC also lists collections of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and records of organizations owned by the library. See the Libraries Workshop for more information on ANTPAC.

Primary sources may be in their original format or may have been reproduced at a later date in a different format, such as a book, microfilm collection, video, or on the Internet.

To find magazine, journal or newspaper articles, use an article database or index. See the Libraries Workshop for general information on using Article Databases.

Special Collections and Archives house some of the UCI Libraries' most valuable and unique materials. There you will find collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, works distinguished for their illustrations, bindings, or fine printing, several distinguished subject collections, and University Archives.

Primary Source materials don’t have to come from a library. Family photographs, letters, and other forms of personal records can be primary sources. Menus from restaurants, flyers advertising special events, programs from cultural events such as concerts or lectures are all examples of materials that document an event at the time of its occurrence and can be used as primary sources.

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