Vancouver: A Local Exchange: Semester in Dialogue

Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. This guide will help you to use our library to find research material for this topic. If you have any further questions about library services, please contact Ebony Magnus, Head, Belzberg Library at 778.782.5054 or

Getting Started

Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.

Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place.

Books, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.

Books, Ebooks, Films, Music, Sound, Slides

Search the catalogue to find all books, reports and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - SFU Vancouver; Bennett - SFU Burnaby; Fraser- SFU Surrey).

  • Searching by KEYWORD is generally the best way to start. Once you have found some good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.
  • The main SUBJECT heading for information about Vancouver is  Vancouver (B.C.) Note the list of SUBHEADINGS for more specific aspects of the city.
  • There are also SUBJECT headings for some of Vancouver's neighbourhoods or metropolitan areas, such as:
  • Try the following SUBJECT headings for general topics related to cities and use the subheading: British Columbia Vancouver to focus on this area:
    • Cities and Towns - Canada
    • City Planning
    • Community Development Urban
    • Political Participation
    • Public Spaces
    • Regional Planning
    • Sustainable Development
    • Urban Ecology Sociology
    • Urban Renewal

Limit your search to items at Belzberg Library by selecting Belzberg Library (Downtown/Harbour Centre) in the LOCATION filter.

Journal and Newspaper Articles

  • All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the Library are listed in the Catalogue
  • Connect to Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports and newspapers. Many indexes provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request photocopies of articles through the "Where Can I Get This?" link. Browse by subject area to identify useful databases for your topic.

    Suggested article databases for Vancouver: A Local Exchange:

    • Academic Search Premier - multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
    • Alternative Press Index - alternative and radical media.
    • America History and Life - literature on all aspects of Canadian and U.S. history, including Vancouver history; includes cited references.
    • Canadian Newsstream - full-text of major Canadian newspapers and Canwest's small market BC papers.
    • Canadian Electronic Library - monograph publications from policy and research institutes, think tanks, advocacy groups, government agencies and university research centres.
    • Canadian Research Index - Canadian government publications.
    • CBCA Complete (Canadian Business and Current Affairs) - covers news, business, and academic sources with a Canadian focus.
    • Encyclopedia of B.C. - Interactive version of the encyclopedia.
    • Geobase - key human and physical geography database with interdisciplinary coverage of urban topics.
    • Sociological Abstracts - sociological aspects of community development and urban studies; includes cited references.

Statistics and Government Sources

Selected Internet Sources

In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Use a web search engine such as Google, Google Scholar or to find additional information, including the web sites of interest groups and other organizations. Check the library's World Wide Web Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.

Useful sites for Vancouver: A Local Exchange:

Research guides for related subjects

Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions.

Ask Us!

  • If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.