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SOC 230: Memory and Forgetting: Home

Professor Christina Simko

Information Landscape for SOC 230




When searching for sources for your Object Biography, your research strategy (which database and/or search engines you select) will be dependent on the following factors: 

  • WHERE is the object ? 
    • More library databases and search engines focus on U.S. than international
    • International sources might not be translated
    • Digitized sources (images, reports, correspondence, etc.) are more readily available for the U.S. and Western Europe
    • Availability of public information such as city reports, government documents, vary per country 
    • Availability of state sources varies per state 
  • WHEN when was the object produced? 
    • The "explosion" of documentation is a phenomena of the late 20th century, prior to that sources were more scarce 
    • The internet is a better source of information for more recent materials (last 20 years). Access to older sources is more limited: 
      • through libraries' subscription databases
      • in digitized archives if the collection has been digitized and if it is available freely on the web
      • in non-digitized archives, either on-site in person, or through mediated requests) through libraries) or in digitized collections or only be documented on the internet will
  • WHO created/sponsored the object ?
    • The narrative about the object is conditioned by its origin: 
      • Public monuments (e.g. national parks) are documented in public sources (e.g. government reports)
      • Documents about privately commissioned objects are available  only at the discretion of the owner of the object (e.g. by foundations, museums)
      • Objects in public spaces (e.g. outdoor parks) are more likely to be discussed, commented on



Your Librarian

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Christine Ménard
Research Services
Sawyer Library