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Researching socio-historical context
There are many approaches to researching the socio-historical context of a work of literature, you may want to look for:
- news articles
- background information about a country
- scholarly discussion about a country or event
Search strategies and the search tools you use will vary based on what you want to find. The search strategies on this page are only starting point - if you want to learn more, schedule an appointment with the Comparative Literature librarian.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (US)
Searches across the full text and images of major U.S. and Black historical newspapers. Includes New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Defender, L.A. Times, and more.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (International)
Searches across the full text of Chinese Historical Newspapers, The Guardian and Observer, Jerusalem Post, and Times of India.
Readers' Guide [Combined]
Publication Dates: 1890-Present
Includes articles from popular and general interest magazines published in the U.S. and Canada. Searches the Readers' Guide Abstracts and Readers' Guides Retrospective databases together; for more search functionality search each separately.
Alternative Press Index [Combined]
Publication Dates: 1969-Present
Contains summaries of articles from alternative, radical and left magazines and journals. Use to research topics not covered well in the mainstream press. Searches Alternative Press Archive and Alternative Press Index together.
Library Catalog Search Strategies
In library catalogs, such as the Williams Library Catalog and Worldcat you can search for information about
- a country or region
- a person
- an historical event
- a literary or cultural trend
The best search strategy when search for socio-historical context is to start with keyword searches and expand to subject searches
- Keyword searching: Use terms of your using - combine them in a variety of combination to maximize chances of finding sources
- Subject searching: Use standardized subject terms assigned by the Library of Congress. Using one of the book found through your keyword searches, trace the relevant subject heading. Subjects used to research socio-historical context would look like this: