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Syracuse University Libraries

WRT 105: Research Starting Points Guide [Instructor, Angelo Miguel Hernandez-Sias - Fall 2021]

Core Starting Points - Database Best Bets

The databases or other sources and search tools that are best when researching a specific topic, event, location, person, organization or time period can vary.  In general, most students in Angelo Miguel Hernandez-Sias's Fall 2021 WRT 105 course sections will find several of these best bet options below helpful during their research process.

Library Starting Points Online - Fundamentals

General Humanities Databases

Art & Design Databases

Advanced SUMMON Searching

Locating Syracuse sources using Advanced SUMMON searches
Enter "Syracuse (N.Y.)",OR ALTERNATIVELY, "Syracuse University", using the subject terms search field on Summon's advanced search screen.  Other words or phrases for events, locations, persons, organizations, etc. at SU or associated with the city can also be searched using simple keyword searches in SUMMON (known as the "all fields" search).

  • Yet another powerful advanced Summon search query is to combine the “subject terms” search word Syracuse with the “subject terms” search word Pictorial
  • The Library of Congress often assigns a phrase to any books or related sources consisting primarily of images,  by assigning those items a subject phrase – called “pictorial works” - leading to online and offline collections in the library’s main collections as well as special collections. Some in WRT 105 might find a few of these specific sources of interest

Classic Catalog Subject Searching

Locating Syracuse sources using the Classic Catalog
Enter "Syracuse (N.Y.)", OR ALTERNATIVELY, "Syracuse University", using a subject heading search

Image Databases

Specific databases of note on that larger image databases list that may be useful, include:

Summon searching can also be used to zero in on image content, when applying search result filters relevant to images or video.

When doing a Summon advanced search for a word or phrase(s) of interest, books (both physical and ebooks) with substantial image content can be located if one enters the phrase "pictorial works" as a subject terms search (in addition to other search terminology).  This technique also works when using the subject terms search word "photography"

Photojournalism local to the Syracuse region can also be retrieved using the news databases, Syracuse News Sources and/or

More national and international photojournalism can be seen in the two newspaper databases - PressReader and also ProQuest News & Newspapers (for the latter using an advanced search, select the document type called "image/photograph" as a desired "document type" search result filter and then also apply the source type filter called "historical newspapers").


Some images are available immediately online of they are part of SCRC Digital Collections


Those interested in images in the context of SU Libraries Special Collections (6th Floor, Bird Library) can search a topic, place, person, or organization of interest using SU Libraries Special Collections Research Center Finding Aids -and then refine results looking to those items classified under types of material such as "photographs" or "film stills" or  "picture postcards" or other image based materials


Special Collections and Syracuse University Archives




Exploring Special Collections at Syracuse University

Enter "Syracuse" or "Syracuse University" or other search terms of interest into the "search the collections" query window at OR leave the query window blank, click search & then look to extensive lists of finding aid links at the left margin for names, subjects and subject strengths (see especially entries for Syracuse, Syracuse University and/or New York State)

SCRC: Information on visiting; 6th Floor, Bird Library-




Exploring University Archives at Syracuse University
The Archives is dedicated to preserving records that document the history, organization, policies, activities, and people of the University, and making those records available to researchers.

Additional News Databases

Additional News Databases (for national coverage of local or regional or SU campus topics, events, persons, organizations, etc.)

Scholarly Journal Articles

Databases Leading to Scholarly Journal Articles

..or select subject specific databases or content type specific databases from the library's databases A-Z list -