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Syracuse University Libraries

COM 346: Race, Gender, and The Media - Research Starting Points Guide [Professor Charisse L'Pree Corsbie-Massay - Spring 2024]

A course guide from the Newhouse School Librarian (SU Libraries) leading to starting points useful for uncovering additional sources for the Wikipedia projects in COM 346

Core Starting Points - Database Best Bets

The databases or other sources and search tools that are best can and shall vary when researching a specific topic, event, technology, location, organization, person or community of persons, business or time period.  In general, most students in COM 346 will find several of these best bet options helpful during their research process.



Library Fundamental Starting Point Tools

Favor use of the Summon Advanced Search Screen  [All COM 346 students for all topics, should be sure to try searching a variety of their relevant search terminology here, especially proper names of people, places, organizations, events, etc. relating to the topic]

Syracuse Newspapers: Current and Historical

Coverage of Local History & Area Newspapers

Special Collections [6th Floor, Bird Library]

Special Collections Research Center [SCRC] (Floor 6, Bird Library) - See also::

  • SCRC Digital Collections 
  • SCRC Collection Areas - includes -  Activism & Social Reform || New York State History & Ephemera || Syracuse University History, including SU Archives and Pan Am 103 Archives
  • Search The Collections
    • These "finding aids" (highly detailed descriptions of the scope and inventories of what collections are available at SCRC) can be searched for any subject matter of interest (a wide variety of subject terms or proper names) - in order to uncover the widest view of the primary and secondary source materials, of all media formats (a majority unique to Syracuse University) that are available in the holdings of the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). 
    • Most such items, some exceedingly rare, will need to be retrieved for researcher review, and COM 346 students will want to plan for at least 24 hour turnaround time (sometimes long spanning holidays or weekends) for any non-digitized items, folders, boxes, etc. pulled for review. 
    • SCRC staff on floor 6 can assist with procedures, and explain what types of restrictions apply to materials being reviewed
    • Not unlike the writing style of academic encyclopedia articles, the tone and style used for each description of a unique collection held by Special Collections, at times including historical background - also are good models for an objective writing style Wikipedia itself tends to favor.  Examples, some specific to Upstate New York and others not, would include the biographical history sections of the finding aid for the collections of Margaret Bourke White (1904-1971) (famous female photographer, who is credited with the photo appearing on the first ever cover of Life Magazine {here is Wikipedia's entry about Margaret Bourke-White} or collections for Henry A Washingon (1906-2001) (first African American physician with a permanent practice in the city of Syracuse).  He appears to have no Wikipedia page.  Avoid plagiarizing the biographical summaries you come across.  These biographical descriptions written at SU's Special Collections Research Cenrter are, however, solid examples of a highly factual writing style

Article Databases with a Focus on Diverse Communities or Alternative Journalism

Article Databases with a STEM Focus

Additional News Databases