HPS Diversity Project
Practical Search Advice
The archive itself is set up to provide options and possible “leads” into other subjects. It is not and cannot possibly be a comprehensive list of all possible research on earth. If you, the reader, want to put your time towards that end and add suggestions, please consider using the suggestions page.
More generally, using search engines efficiently can be all about keywords and about putting the same search terms into multiple engines.
WorldCat and Google will usually come up with the same results for a specific search, but often highly different results for more vague searches using keywords like “colonial botany indonesia” or “medicine Galen medieval”.
If looking for a specific phrase in Google, try putting the phrase in quotation marks.
If you want to use Google rather than Google Scholar, try appending the name of different databases (“jstor”, “muse edu”, etc.) to the term.
Find a book or article which you have found to be well-researched, go to the works cited page, and see where they lead. In many books, the author will provide a list of “for further reading”.
If you are looking in a time period, research by-names for the time period (Age of Exploration, Belle Époque, Vedic Era, etc.).
If you don’t know what topic you wish to research, consider the languages you know and consider the historical extent of their empires. (Dutch language sources on Indonesia, French language sources on Algeria, etc.) Even for topics prior to the establishment of the empires, significant research on these topics likely has been or is being done in those languages (e.g. research on Aztecs published in Spanish).
If a link is broken, try web.archive.org.
For primary sources, archive.org’s book repository and Google Books have compiled works out of copyright or otherwise freely available.