This guide is intended to help students in Karl Appuhn's "Topics in Environmental History" The focus is on research and tools in the field that are of specific interest to these individual students.
Once you have selected a topic and discussed it with the instructor, you will want to start your research. To start looking for materials in history you should start with two of three items: the American Historical Association's published bibliography, Guide to Historical Literature, and the preeminent databases for history, America: History and Life for the United States and Canada or Historical Abstracts for the rest of the world. The bibliography and the databases serve different purposes.
The two volume Guide to Historical Literature is a listing of the most important books in the English language by topic, and thus is invaluable to learning what is the past scholarship in the field, including what are some of the debates and who are the leading scholars on a specific topic. Using relevant titles gleaned from these volumes you can then check them against Bobcat to find out not only if the library owns the book, but also what the Library of Congress considers the subject(s) to be. Using these library subject headings in the catalogue will give you a number of other published works, but also -- and importantly -- similar books published since the Guide to Historical Literature. You should also mine the bibliographies of the books you find in Bobst to identify more works, but also relevant primary sources such as newspapers, archival and manuscript collections and published works such as diaries, memoirs, etc.
America: History and Life (AHL) is the source for periodical literature in American and Canadian Studies (not just history) and includes not just English language scholarship but also works in over fifty languages -- from Afrikans to Yiddish. Because it is online you can also search it using keywords, or use AHL's own subject headings to explore and find more works. AHL has a growing body of full-text but also contains references to material that is available to you in other formats, including H-Net reviews. You can identify reviews of the books you have picked to find out where other scholars have agreed or disagreed with their findings.
Historical Abstracts (HA) is the best indexing source for periodical literature in History from 1450 to present. It includes not just English language scholarship but also works in close to 100 languages -- from Afrikaans to Zulu. Because it is online you can also search it using keywords, or use HA's own subject headings to explore and find more works. HA has a growing body of full-text but also contains references to material that is available to you in other formats, including H-Net reviews. You can identify reviews of the books you have picked to find out where other scholars have agreed or disagreed with their findings.
Aside from these two items, what other bibliographies and databases you chose to use will largely be driven by your specific research. This research guide tries to help guide your selections amongst in the vast number of available sources. You can also contact me for assistance. Buen provecho.
Sadly, animals are practically absent from the Guide. There are just four index entries representing five titles.
Animal domestication 2.12
Animal ecology 4.215
Animal representations (Hittite) 5.407
Animal rights (Japan) 12.186 and 12.203