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Childhood and Child Welfare in the Modern World
One of the best places to start research is in the Five-College Library Catalog. All books are listed by their AUTHORS, TITLES, and SUBJECTS, and you can also use the KEYWORD function to search.
KEYWORD searching is not likely to yield a complete, or completely relevant, list of locally-owned books on any particular topic, but it's a good way to start; type in a common language characterization of your topic, say "immigrant children", select titles from the resulting list that interest you, note which official subject headings are assigned to those titles, then click on them to do a more thorough SUBJECT search.
SUBJECT searching, as such, requires that you use the exact words or phrases libraries have chosen to describe your topic; for example, libraries list books about immigrant children under "children of immigrants", with lots of detailed subdivisions. Inputting "children of immigrants" as a 'Subject begins with' search will yield the most relevant results. Ask at the Reference Desk if you're not sure what words or phrases to use.
Databases: Find articles, book chapters, e-books
Academic OneFile (1980 to present)
Full-text articles from all disciplines.
Academic Search Premier (date coverage varies)
Full-text articles from over 3,600 journals in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and sciences.
America: History & Life (1964 to present)
Covers the world's scholarly literature on the history and culture of the United States and Canada.
Historical Abstracts (1955 to present)
Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).
Encyclopedia Britannica Online
Standard general encyclopedia.
Reference Books (Frost, main floor)
Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: in History and Society. N.Y., Macmillan Reference, 2004. 3 vols.
Short entries, ranging from a paragraph to a few pages, alphabetically arranged, on themes, events, individuals, and institutions important in the history of childhood, from many disciplinary angles. Each entry has a brief bibliography. (Ref HQ 767.84 E53 2003)
Statistical Handbook on the World's Children. Westport CT, Oryx, 2002.
Data on demographics, education, health, behavior, crime, etc., pulled from various sources; a little old now, but the information can be updated. (Ref HQ 767.9 K38 2002)
Encyclopedia of American Social History. N.Y., Scribner's, 1993. 3 vols.
Excellent bibliographical essays on methods and themes in American social history; especially recommended for getting oriented to historical topics and techniques. (Ref HN 57 E58 1993)
Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000. N.Y. Scribner's, 2001. 6 vols.
Same as above, for Europe in the stated period. (Ref HN 373 E63 2001)