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Visualizing Colonialism & Visualizing Resistance: Home

Databases and Keyword Search Tips

Keyword Search Tips

When searching for resources on a database, it is a good idea to try a variety of search terms (keywords) and phrases. If you only browse the results of your first search attempt, you will probably be disappointed -- your first search may have too few, too many, or irrelevant results.

Generating Keywords: Here is one strategy you can try when you begin searching for good sources.

  1. Identify your research topic/thesis statement
    1. (Ex: If the long-term effects of e-cigarette and vape use are unknown, how will lawmakers craft legislation designed to protect the public from harm?)
  2.  Generate keywords from the main ideas/concepts within your topic.
    1. (E-cigarettes, tobacco, vaping, public health)
  3. Expand upon these keywords even more by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your topic.
    1. (Lung disease, lung injury, respiratory, smoking, nicotine, addiction, risk, second-hand exposure, toxicity)
  4. Conduct multiple searches made up of keyword combinations.

This will provide you with a wider range of sources to choose from.

Keyword searches may even yield too many search results. If this happens, you can use the limiters (AKA filters) to narrow down your search (look on the left hand side of the database for limiters/filters such as "document type," "publication date," or "subject").

History Databases

Variety of Countries: Art and Photography Digital Collections

Resistance Art and Photography

Resistance Art and Photography

Africa: Art and Photography Digital Collections

Central and South America: Art and Photography Digital Collections

Asia: Art and Photography Digital Collections

Students of Contemporary World History,

Please use the following links to browse digital collections of photography and art (including paintings, prints, posters, postcards, advertisements, cartoons, and more) that reflect the legacy of imperialism in Africa, Asia, & Central and South America.


From the Rev. R.H. Stone’s memoir ‘‘In Afric’s Forest and Jungle: Or Six Years Among the Yorubans,’’ 1899.














Image accessed from The New York Times


These collections are organized by universities, libraries, and archives, and are therefore high quality sources that you can trust for your research. 

Stop by the library or email me if you have any questions! 

- Ms. Buehler,