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.

A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the period being studied. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.  Also included are works created later by an eyewitness or a participant in an event, e.g. memoirs/autobiographies.

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 sources in the Library catalogue, such as: correspondence, sources, diaries, letters, personal naratives. KEYWORD search examples:

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

Sources span five centuries and encourages the use of primary sources. Unique source material including maps, manuscripts, pamphlets, paitings, drawings and rare books.

Contains digiral page images of about 150,000 books and other material published during the 18th Century, Holdings come from the British Library and other libraries, including many from South Asia.

Electronic collection reproduced from rare journals and newspapers (1685-1815) including South Asian and Indian sources.

From 1941- . Search full-text content for India, Paskistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Collected in South Asia between 1913 until 1929. From the Digital South Asia Library.

This collection comprises the most detailed primary source from the 19th century to the present for Britain, its colonies and the wider world.

The papers of two leading actors in the East India Company in mid-18th century Bengal from the National Library of Wales. Chiefly in English, but with an array of original correspondence with local figures in Indo-Persian and occasionally Bengali, Marathi and Tamil, this collection allows researchers to understand the complex political web in the subcontinent as the power of the Mughal Empire began to wane.

Launched in April 2000, to record the voices of South Asian authors for the Library of Congress' Archive of Recorded World Literature, the project has captured the readings of prominent South Asian poets, novelists, and playwrights. The authors recorded so far represent more than fifteen of the languages of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Government Information

Maps and GIS

Atlases, maps and GIS data available.

Images

Searchable database of illustrations, maps, photography

The material in the CIViC Archive is comprised of digital images and mutimedia (audio-video) recordings.

An initiative of Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP) to make available old and rare images. 7000 images in the first phase, divided into Old and rare images, and Historic ephemera.

Essays and pictures describe life and culture in the Indus Valley (India and Pakistan) during ancient times.  This site includes photograph collections of many archeologically significant sites.

Contains some videos as well.

Searchable collection from the Center for Art and Archaeology in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, has over 125,000 photographs in the collection. The images fall into the broad categories of architecture, sculpture, terracotta, painting and numismatics.

Audio and Voice Recordings

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.

General

A project to develop digital collection, storage and distribution strategies for multimedia anthropological information from the Himalayan region.

Online materials on South Asian topics. Books, legislation, maps and webpages.

Afghanistan

The objective is to retrieve and restore the first 60 years of Afghanistan’s published cultural heritage and make available over the Internet as many Afghan publications from the period 1871–1930 as it is possible to identify and locate.

Architecture

Bengal

Ahuge collection of textual and visual materials mainly focused on colonial Bengal.

Colonial South Asia

Diaspora

Gandhi

Language and Literature

Searchable collection of lemmatized Sanskrit texts.

Launched in April 2000, to record the voices of South Asian authors for the Library of Congress' Archive of Recorded World Literature, the project has captured the readings of prominent South Asian poets, novelists, and playwrights. The authors recorded so far represent more than fifteen of the languages of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Around 1,000 manuscript books and fragments relating to the history of medicine.

Oral History

The Centre of South Asian Studies has a large collection of oral history and other sound recordings.

Partition

A global movement to preserve life stories shaped by the 1947 Partition of British India.

Punjab

Timeline

 

Content last updated: August 23, 2018