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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 Karen Marotz, Head, Belzberg Library at 778.782.5054 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- If the item is not available at Belzberg Library, or is out on loan, please request it!
- For a step-by-step interactive guide to searching the SFU catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.
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 Complete - 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 Public Policy Collection - 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.
- Try the same subject terms as suggested for books, or check the thesaurus or list of subject terms within the database. For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.
- For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.
Statistics and Government Sources
- BC Stats Publications - After you connect, click the "Agree" button to enter the site. The A-Z index (located on the upper left corner) provides access to BC Statistics by subject. Go to the "area profiles" to see information on regions, including Vancouver.
- City of Vancouver - provides information and links to city projects and initiatives, including the Greenest City 2020 initiative and neighbourhood and community garden walking tours.
- City of Vancouver Archives - Vancouver's historical records, including city record, historic photographs and maps. Access provided through searchable databases and reference guides.
- City of Vancouver Areas of the City - information about Vancouver's local neighbourhoods, including profiles, partnership programs, projects and community events.
- City of Vancouver Open Data Catalogue - catalogue of freely available city data.
- Government of British Columbia (B.C. Government) - Ministries and Organizations (A-Z list) - is an access point to all the ministries and organizations of the Government of British Columbia, including the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
- Metro Vancouver - provides regional planning and services for the Greater Vancouver area.
- Statistics Canada: Statistics by Subject - The main source for Canadian statistical information. Check the Community Profiles for city and community-level statistics.
- Statistics Canada Publication Indexes - Link to Canadian Census, CANSIM, E-Stat and the Index of downloadable Canadian Statistical Publications.
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 Ask.com 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:
- British Columbia Index (Vancouver Public Library) - A finding tool for documents and facts related to the history of British Columbia.
- City of Vancouver: Culture Plan for Vancouver 2008-2018- strategic culture plan for Vancouver.
- Heritage Vancouver - a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of Vancouver's built, cultural and natural heritage.
- History of Metropolitan Vancouver - website to accompany the late Chuck Davis' massive book project on the history of Metro Vancouver.
- NewCity Institute - promotes best practices research and implementation focused on cities, sustainability and citizen participation, and includes links to local projects.
- Project for Public Spaces - is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people and communities create and sustain public spaces.
- Smart Growth BC - is a non-governmental organization devoted to fiscally, socially and environmentally responsible land use and development.
- SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development - teaching and research unit that aims to integrate economic, social and environmental objectives in community development.
- Sustainable Communities Online - links citizens to resources and to one another to create sustainable communities.
- Think City - non-profit association working to help citizens realise the issues facing their communities and develop collective solutions.
- Vancouver Bibliography (U.B.C.) - a comprehensive listing of all materials on the subject of Vancouver from 1790-2001. Lists over 20,000 items in many formats including books, manuscripts, maps, films, articles, microforms and others.
- Vancouver Blog Miss 604 - daily information about life in Metro Vancouver.
- Vancouver Historical Society - preserving and promoting the history of Vancouver.
- Vancouver Public Library - includes a guide to Vancouver history and collections of historic photographs.
- Vancouver Public Space Network - is an advocacy group concerned with all aspects of public space, including creative (re)-greening of the public environment and public access to the decision-making process around public space. See their tools page for links and bibliographies.
- Vancouver Society of Storytelling - non-profit association promoting and supporting the art of storytelling.
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.
- 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.