Often, when you want a quick snapshot of a topic in order to gather main ideas - events, people, places, dates, major themes - An encyclopedia entry is the best way to go. Wikipedia, while not an academic source that you'd include in your citations, can provide an overview for the purpose of getting familiar with a topic.
The SSU Library also offers reference databases with subject encyclopedia entries or articles that give similar background information and have the added benefit of being written by scholars in specific disciplines. A few sample encyclopedia articles that offer brief overviews of a person, work, theme, or event/period include:
Search OneSearch for books, media, articles, primary sources, newspapers, journals, and more. Selecting CSU+ will allow you to search across all CSU libraries and request items we don't have.
WE'LL GET IT FOR YOU! If you can't find what you're looking for, our Interlibrary Loan service allows you to borrow books from other libraries. Create an account, log in, and request the article, book, chapter, or media you need. Articles and chapters will be delivered electronically, usually within 24 hours. Books and other physical materials can take between 7-10 days to arrive.
RESEARCH TIP: Review your class syllabus, make a note of themes, dates, people and subjects you find particularly interesting. Keep notes of keywords to use as you search.
For items about the decade: You can connect any keywords in a search with the terms "thirties" or 1930s to find items about a specific topic during the 1930s. Check out the two separate sample searches below:
Try both terms in different searches (1930s and thirties) because you never know how an item will describe the decade. Searching for alternate terms would also be useful in cases of keywords like African Americans (Black, Afro-American, Negro - as a historically used term) and movies (film, Hollywood).
You can find video and audio resources both in physical formats (DVD, VHS, even LPs! - the Library has equipment for you to play it all) and also streaming, via the databases listed below. To find these materials using OneSearch, enter your keywords and then limit your Resource Type to Audio Visual.
You may also want to simply click on the video databases below, in order to search and browse related items that you also might find relevant.