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HIST 11A: Slavery and Unfreedom (Brillman)

This guide was created to support History 11A: Slavery and Unfreedom.

Undergraduate Learning Librarian

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Kelci Baughman McDowell
Santa Clara University
University Library
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Slavery and Unfreedom


Welcome to SCU Library

My name is Kelci and I am your librarian. I am here to support your research.

I do not judge or grade you.

I'm on a knowledge accrual mission along with you.

I expect you to be an active participant in this mission of developing your research skills.

Let's make the most of our time together!


* Reproduction of a handbill advertising a slave auction in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1769. (Wikipedia Commons)

Class Activities

Made with Padlet

Activity Instructions

Prepare for Our Class Activity

Don't have a topic? Go directly to the "Don't have a topic?" tab to explore background information and possible topics.

Ready to search on your topic?

  1. Pair up with the person next to you
  2. Tell the person your topic and where you are going to search
  3. Individually, first browse or search for primary sources for you or your partner
    • Select an image of the best primary source. Download the image. Post it in column 2 of the Padlet. Show it to your partner.
  4. Next, individually search for secondary sources. If something comes up for your partner, let them know.
    • Select the best secondary source (article or book). Locate the permalink. Post it in column 3 of the Padlet. Show it to your partner.
  5. Got some free time? Up-vote or down-vote the primary source images your classmates posted.
  6. We'll do a share-out at the end.

Column 2: Primary Sources

Explore either of the sources listed below.

I recommend browsing because the language used to describe primary source material is rarely the language we would use to describe it today.

You may opt to search, if you have a unique or specific keyword, for example the name of a ship or person.

Can you select an image of a primary source that would be appropriate for your paper? Post it on the Padlet. Extra points the more stimulating and fascinating it is.

This is supposed to be fun and inspirational, although sometimes it is more strategic to search for secondary information first. Come back to this after the next step if you are not finding good primary sources. You may also consult the More Primary Sources tab.

Pick a newspaper to search from this list (contemporary issues)

Newspaper Databases

Column 3: Secondary Sources

It's time to make some decisions:

Book or article?

Pick: OSCAR (books) or a subject database (articles)?

Construct: an advanced search

Formula: 2-3 keyword terms, connected with and. No phrases or questions.

History Databases:

OSCAR for Books: