How to choose an essay topic

Explore your topic

Introducing Summon - which makes it possible to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously. Including books, ebooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more.

However,  Summon doesn't search everything that the library owns or subscribes to so you will still need to search other resources to find everything that you need. Summon also doesn't let you do sophisticated searches that you may be used to doing in specific databases or the library catalogue.  

When to use Summon

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

For assistance using Summon please contact the Research Help Desk.

Reference Materials: 

Use reference materials to get started on your research. These can be found in the Reference area of the library, main floor behind the Research Help Desk.

Key Databases: 

TIP: America History and Life and Historical Abstracts can be searched together:

    Open either one of these databases
    At the TOP of the search page click on "Choose Databases"
    Tick off America History and Life and Historical Abstracts
    Click OK
    Begin your search

Additional Databases: 

Finding primary sources in the library collection

   1. Original documents can be found by consulting the Archives and Research Collections (ARC) website.
   2. Reproductions can be found by checking the library catalogue.

Use specific words to locate primary sourcees in the Library catalogue, such as: correspondence, sources, diaries, letters, personal naratives. KEYWORD search examples:

  • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:correspondence
  • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:diaries
  • [PERSON’S NAME] and s:letters
  • [KEYWORD] and s:sources

Other sources for primary sources include:

Searchable collection of images of posters and postcards. 

Includes primary source material about polygamy.

Searchable and browsable collection of primary materials such as diaries, magazines, correspondence, photographs etc.

Historical Newspapers

The Centre for Research Libraries (CRL) holds an extensive collection of newspapers in microform. Borrow from CRL through Interlibrary Loans.

The Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA) houses over 200,000 cuttings taken from the non-gay press on all LGBT matters since the late Nineteenth Century.

Hidden treasures in the world's public photography archives

Searchable collection of images of posters and postcards

Searchable and browsable collection of primary materials which includes photographs.

Films/Videos

Collection of streaming educational videos that cover a wide spectrum of disciplines. Contains both clips and full-length videos.

For video material at the Carleton Univeristy library, do a KEYWORD search in the library catalogue and limit "Material Type" to FILM/VIDEO. If you cannot find what you need search the following database:

If you wish to borrow a video listed in Watmedia please fill out our Interfilm Video Request form - do not submit requests directly to Watmedia.

See also:

Frameline’s mission is to strengthen the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and further its visibility by supporting and promoting a broad array of cultural representations and artistic expression in film, video and other media arts.

Sex education and sexual health videos.

General

Contains about 25.300 titles of primary and secondary literature of the history of sexuality in Europe, the U.S. and Canada from 1700 to 2007/8. Also offers important titles of the sexual history of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, including non-Western societies.

gender Inn is a searchable database providing access to over 8,400 records pertaining to feminist theory, feminist literary criticism and gender studies focusing on English and American literature.

Contraception, Reproduction and Eugenics

Exists to promote public understanding of human heredity and to facilitate informed debate about the ethical issues raised by advances in reproductive technology.  It also publishes studies in the historical development of these topics.

Family and Childhood

Free downloads available.

Includes entries such as: The History of Polygamy and The New Polygamy

    United States Attorney's Office District of Utah - History

The legal history of polygamy in Utah.

See sections on Family in the Region and Seclusion of Women

Gay / Lesbian / Bisexual / Transgender / Queer

A collection of interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York.

Affiliated society of the American Historical Association

A Canadian registered charity.  Its mission is to create a national series of scholarships in gay and lesbian studies to:

    • advance research and education in human rights,
    • support and draw attention to merit among GLBTQQ people as fine role models
    • help create lasting and worthy legacies
    • build bridges of understanding among gay and lesbian people and other equality-seeking groups, and general society

Site to record and promote Gay History, Queer History, LGBT History with a Scottish slant.

Listservs

Men and Masculinity

Prostitution

Searchable and browsable collection of primary materials such as diaries, magazines, correspondence, photographs etc.

Research and Lists

Same-Sex Marriage

Sexual Practices

STDs