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.

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

Europe

Provides links to Western European historical documents (mainly primary) that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.

This is a collection of translated media reports from around the world. Many are first-hand reports of events as they occurred providing an archive of transcripts of foreign broadcasts and news for the second half of the 20th century.  1974-1996

Medieval manuscripts from libraries around the world dating from the 13th to the 16th centuries including translations and maps.

All-types of documents: 1993 - present; Resolutions: 1946 - present

Freely accessible database covering all disciplines of medieval sciences for the European language sphere.

Austria

Belgium

Church and Religion

France

Searchable database of classical French Writings

This site contains links to over 1200 digitized photographs and images recorded during the Siege and Commune of Paris cir.1871. In addition, the Library's Siege & Commune Collection contains 1500 caricatures, 68 newspapers in hard-copy and film, hundreds of books and pamphlets and about 1000 posters.

Germany

Clio-online is a central Internet gateway for historical scholarship in teaching and research. Sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) from 2002 until 2007, the gateway enables efficient access to the diverse range of historical online resources.

A collection of primary source materials documenting Germany's political, social, and cultural history from 1500 to the present.

Digtized (browsable) version of a massive collection of sources for the study of German history from the end of the Roman Empire to 1500. In progress.

107,695 pages of transcripts of parliamentary debates and various indexes.

The Holocaust

Italy and the Vatican

A database of Latin text ranging from ancient sources through to the Second Vatican Council.

The Patrologia Latina Database contains 221 volumes.  It cover the works of the Latin Fathers, from Tertullian in 200 A.D. to Pope Innocent III in 1216.

Medieval

Collection of primary and some secondary sources dealing with all aspects of Western (including the Middle East) medieval history.

Spain and Portugal (Iberia)

Now available through The Digital Scriptorium.

1821-1911; Portuguese-language transcriptions.

Switzerland

History of Switzerland: Primary Documents (EuroDocs)

Newspapers

The main Dutch newspapers from 1618 to 1995. A selection of national, regional, local, Dutch East Indies, Surinam and Antillean newspapers and additional titles from 1940-1945.

Carleton University Library is a member of the CRL consortium. CRL has a collection of over 5,800 foreign (non-American) newspapers in its Foreign Newspapers database. For details about retrieval and use of these materials, consult Interlibrary Loans.

Government Documents

In the Library:

On the Web:

Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission.

Images

Films and 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.

Free online documentaries from all subject areas including African History.

General

WESSWEB is a collection of links to high-quality information resources for the study of Western Europe.

European Union

The Archive of European Integration (AEI) is an electronic repository and archive for research materials on the topic of European integration and unification. The AEI collects two types of materials: certain types of independently-produced research materials and official European Community/European Union documents.

WESSWEB is a collection of links to high-quality information resources for the study of Western Europe.

France

A bilingual digital library that explores the history of the French presence in North America from the first decades of the 16th century to the end of the 19th century.

A database of Francophone literature of the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Records of authors (biographies, bibliographies, photos, excerpts, etc.

Germany

Italy

Maps

Europe

France

Maps of Paris dating from 1843.

Spain

Medieval

Designed to make available in electronic format a database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information.

Devoted to collecting, storing and distributing digital images of Medieval manuscripts

Searchable databaswe of more than 14,000 images of manuscript illuminations and decorative elements.

Spain

The database provides access to information about Basque topics written or produced after 1994.

Collection contains over 4,000 color slides and black and white photographs of medieval Spain . The images span over 1,000 years of architectural history, from the seventh to the seventeenth century.