How to choose an essay topic

Explore your topic

Omni is the library discovery tool for finding books, eBooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more.  You will still need to search other resources to find everything you need because Omni does not search everything that the library acquires.  

When to use Omni

  • When starting research on a topic
  • If you are not sure which databases to use

Check Omni Help for instructions on how to create a good search statement.  For assistance using Omni, please contact Research Help.

Define and get an overview of your topic or find definitions of key terms and concepts.

Digital Libraries

Search the libraries interface below for digitized full text documents and media:

  • HathiTrust Digital Library is a digital repository of millions of books, serials, and other materials from research institutions and libraries from around the world.
  • Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
  • Project Gutenberg E-Books is an online library of free electronic books.

Open Access Resources

  • Alexandria Archive Institute
    "The Alexandria Archive Institute is a non-profit technology company that preserves and shares world heritage on the Web, free of charge. Through advocacy, education, research, and technology programs like Open Context, we pioneer ways to open up archaeology and related fields for all."
  • Open Access Archaeology
  • Open Archaeology
  • tDAR: The Digital Archaeology Record
    "The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is an international digital repository for the digital records of archaeological investigations."

For a full list of OER, including textbooks, institutional repositories, research portals, visit Open Access (OA) Publications.

Key Databases for Journal Articles

Additional Databases


For more information and assistance, contact Sherri Sunstrum.


  • Ancient City of Athens
    A photographic archive of the archaeological and architectural remains of ancient Athens (Greece).
  • Ancient World Image Bank (New York University)
    The Ancient World Image Bank is a collaborative effort to distribute and encourage the sharing of free digital imagery for the study of the ancient world.
  • Arachne
    Arachne is intended to provide archaeologists and Classicists with a free internet research tool for quickly searching hundreds of thousands of records on objects and their attributes.  An index and links to the website’s contents is here.
  • ARTstor
  • Beazley Archive (University of Oxford)
    Includes the world's largest collection of images of ancient figure-decorated pottery.
  • World Digital Library



For video material at the Carleton University library, do a Keyword  search in Omni and limit by "Material Type" and Video/Film.

If you cannot find what you need, search the following database:

Biblical Archaeology


 Site Digs

  • Amarna Project
    This link provides current research and preservation information of the city Tell el-Amarna.
  • Digital Karnak
    "The Digital Karnak Project aims to make the site of Karnak more accessible to students and instructors in the English-speaking world."
  • The Giza Archives
    A comprehensive resource for research on the Giza pyramids
  • Hierakonpolis Project Online
    "Hierakonpolis, the City of the Hawk, ancient Egyptian Nekhen, is one of the most important archaeological sites for understanding the foundations of ancient Egyptian society."
  • Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation (The Griffith Institute, University of Oxford)
    The definitive archaeological record for Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Research Centres

  • American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)
    ARCE's mission is to support research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, foster a broader knowledge about Egypt among the general public, and strengthen American-Egyptian cultural ties.
  • Egypt Exploration Society
    Their mission is to explore Egyptian sites and monuments and share a lasting record of the remains. Today the Society supports archaeological research projects throughout Egypt and Sudan.
  • International Association of Egyptologists
    "Our websites provide information about worldwide Egyptology and are addressed to scholars and other interested parties as well."


Referencing your sources is an important part of academic writing. Why?

  • it lets you acknowledge the ideas or words of others if you use them in your work
  • it helps you to avoid plagiarism
  • it demonstrates that you are using the scholarly record and that you can provide authority for statements you make in your term paper
  • it enables readers to find the source information



Content last reviewed: June 10, 2021