Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vital Speeches of the Day

I am of the opinion that the online resources that we have access to via the library's website are under utilized. Too often a Google search is the default search for homework today. Internet sources are good sources but there is so much information available in our databases that any project will only be strengthened if the student or researcher takes a look there.

The online resources are extensive and it's difficult to keep up with everything that is available. Today a coworker told me about a resource available via MasterFILE Premier called Vital Speeches of the Day. I was surprised to learn that it gives us access to full text speeches back to 1934. How's that for a treasure trove of primary sources (modern teachers love primary sources)? I did a quick search and found an interesting speech by Winston Churchill which he delivered in the House of Commons on November 29th, 1944. In this speech he is extolling the British people to not give up on the war just yet. Though they may be winning and assured of victory now is not the time to think that further sacrifice is not required.

He says, "As when climbing a hill, when there is always another peak beyond, it is at that very moment that we in this island have to give that extra sense of exertion and effort, that boundless and inexhaustible dynamic energy that we have shown, and which records made public emphasize in detail that we have shown during this struggle."

When I help people in the library many of them do not know that you can specify which journal or magazine you would like the database to search. You can see from the screen shot below that I specified a search for "Churchill" in the year 1944 that had been published in the journal "Vital speeches of the day." You may have to click on the picture below to see it clearly.

This is a very powerful tool and if you know what journal you would like to search and you don't know whether or not the library has access to this journal you can do a search here. This will tell you if a branch carries the magazine, if it's at the Main Library and how far back the archives go (main library's archives can be on microfiche, microfilm or hard copies and can go back quite a long ways) or if the magazine can be viewed on one of your online resources. Not only that, if it's available on an online resource it will provide a direct link to that resource. Be aware that if you are attempting to use an online resource from home that you will need to enter your library card number.

Remember, the best way to find out what is available on those online resources is to try and few and do a few searches of whatever interests you. That will help you later when you are doing a more serious search.

1 comment:

FRL_devinwithani said...

I totally agree with the under use of databases. At Freedom, we get a lot of student patrons, and they do not seem to like the database option.