Normandale Community College

Normandale Community College

Welcome to Normandale Library
Use this page to find research resources for your simulation.
Contact the Library if you need any help!
Start Here
When you're starting out (or not sure where to start) try the Gale Virtual Reference Library. It's full of reference ebooks that will give you an over view of your research topic and biographical information about many historical events and people. 

Gale Virtual Reference Library Restricted Resource
Gale Virtual Reference Library logoGale Virtual Reference Library is a collection of full-text e-books that includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, and reference books in biography, history, literature, medicine, and more.

Credo Reference is another useful database for looking up specific people and events. Many searches will lead you to topic pages that offer ideas for related avenues for research. 

Credo Reference Restricted Resource
Credo logoCredo Reference contains general and subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, bibliographies, chronologies, handbooks, atlases, and more.
Watch a Film
Normandale subscribes to Films on Demand, which provides access to thousands of documentaries and educational films, many from prominent television networks. Paris 1919: Inside the Peace Talks that Changed the World was produced by the National Film Board of Canada and could be a useful source for information and ideas for further research. Remember: you can use films as a cited resource. You can skip around by clicking on the specific chapter/segment titles in the right side of the page and there are suggestions for related videos at the bottom. You can search Films on Demand through the Library catalog or directly on their site. Try searching for your assigned person to see if there are any videos that contain information you can use. 

Search the Catalog

Use the library's catalog to find books and audio/visual materials on your topic and related people. Many books contain primary sources.

If you're stuck on search terms to try, start simply and use the "Subjects" section of the record for a good title to help you search further. Some initial ideas:
Paris peace talks
Treaty of Versailles
the name of your assigned person
World War, 1914-1918
"Fourteen Points" and "Woodrow Wilson"
League of Nations

If the book's record lists it (many older books do not) the Table of Contents is also a good place to look for search terms and subjects that can be useful. 

Book Search

Book Search searches the listing of books and ebooks available at the Normandale Library.


After you click on the title of a book, write down the call number to find the book on the shelf. If you have trouble locating the book a librarian, student worker, or circulation staff member can help you. Don't be afraid to ask!

When you get to the shelf, look at the index of the book (in the back) to see if your person or group is mentioned. Also look at the books surrounding the one you were looking for. Materials are shelved by subject and you can often discover useful books just by browsing a section. If your result list was very long this is a great way to make sure you're finding material you may not have noticed in the catalog. 
Reference Books
You can also try these reference books to look up specific people and events. The Reference Collection is the set of shelves to the left of the Reference Desk as you walk into the library. Reference books have red labels on the spines and cannot be checked out--only used in the library. Look these titles up in the catalog for the call numbers or browse the first two rows of shelves in the Reference section. 

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Current Biography
Great Lives from History--20th Century
American National Biography
Dictionary of American Biography
Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans

Find Primary Sources
Primary sources are available both through the Library's resources and on the open web. Libraries, Museums, and other cultural institutions are constantly working to provide online access to historical materials. Try searching for your person on some of these sites. You can often find military service information and photos through institutions like the Hathi Trust and Library of Congress. Historical newspapers can be particularly useful for providing context and discovering new people and topics to research.   

Gale Student Resources in Context (World War, 1914-1918) Restricted Resource
This is a list of all of the primary souces available in Gale Student Resources covering the World War, 1914-1918. 

Salem History Restricted Resource
Salem logoSalem History is an online database of full-text reference e-books and primary sources. Included are sources on American history, world history, historical events and periods, biographies, and more. Use the search box on the left or click on a title to browse the articles available .

Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy
The Avalon Project provides access to primary source materials in the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. Includes documents from 3000 BCE - 21st Century.  

Digital Public Library of America
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a freely available collection of resources from libraries, archives, and museums.  It includes written works, art, records of American heritage, scientific resources, and primary sources.  Search by theme, location, or era. 

Daily Life through History Restricted Resource
Daily Life Through HistoryDaily Life Online is a database providing information on the daily lives of people around the world. The content includes books, articles, images, maps, primary documents, and more.  

HathiTrust Digital Library
Digital collections of the libraries of major research universities.

Library of Congress
Contains approximately 12 million records representing books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and visual materials.

Find Newspapers
Links to all of the Library's newspaper databases.

World Digital Library
WDL makes available significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world. The collection includes books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs from 1200 BCE - 2000 CE.
Find Articles
Use these databases to find articles relevant to your research. Most of these articles will come from scholarly journals and will discuss specific people and events in detail. 

JSTOR Restricted Resource
JSTOR contains the complete backfiles of over 625 scholarly journals with well over 3 million articles available. Full text coverage varies by journal.

Academic Search Premier Restricted Resource
Academic Search PremierAcademic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary database designed specifically for academic institutions. It includes articles from academic journals, popular magazines, and major newspapers.

Use the Internet!
Yes, the internet can be very useful, especially when your historical figure is hard to find in reference materials. Try some of the same searches you did in the databases and catalog. Remember that anyone can create a web site--it's cheap and easy--so check the sources and links, look up the author/site's credentials, and pay attention to signs of bias. 

Department of State's Office of the Historian
This government site is a good example of a reliable resource available on the open web. 

Modern Japan in Archives
This site provides access to archival material (i.e., primary sources) from the National Diet Library in Japan. 

A note on Wikipedia: Wikipedia is not evil but it shouldn't appear on a college level Works Cited list. Feel free to check out Wikipedia to get ideas for people and search terms to look up in the library's materials. If you find a useful piece of information in a Wikipedia article click the citation link or look through the References list at the bottom of the article, locate the source for the information, and use that as your resource. Think of Wikipedia as a map to the most useful information on the web. If a piece of information does not have a citation next to it, don't use it. Try to do some searching in the databases or on the web to see if you can confirm the information using a reputable source and use that source instead. Trolls mess with Wikipedia articles all the time. Don't be fooled. 
Ask a Librarian *
Questions? Ask us! Ask Us

Call or e-mail a librarian if you need further research assistance. We're happy to help!

  (952) 358-8290


Rebecca Hranj
Library Faculty - Reference & Instruction

Chat with a Librarian 24/7

Your question may be directed to a librarian from another college when Normandale librarians are unavailable.

Use Library Resources Off Campus
Access Databases from Off Campus
In order to access databases and other Library resources from off campus, login with your StarID and password when prompted.  Off-campus access to library databases is only available to current Normandale students, staff, and faculty.
Cite Your Sources (Chicago)
Chicago Quick Guide (for Notes-Bibliography Style)
The Chicago style of citation uses numbered notes; either footnotes, which appear at the bottom of each page, or endnotes, which appear at the end of the paper.

Most of the library databases make it easy to cite sources. Look for the citation feature and copy the citation to your Works Cited list. Don't forget to check the citation against the Guide--they're not always 100% right. 

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