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HUM 311 - Italian Renaissance Humanism

The purpose of this guide is to assist you in doing research for the HUM 311.

If you need help, please contact Ivana Niseteo, Liaison Librarian for English, French, French Programs (FASS), Humanities, Linguistics, and World Literature at 778.782.6838 or or Ask a librarian.

Start with reference sources

There are a number of reference books and online reference sources that can help you find background information. They are an excellent place to get an overview.

How to find books in the Catalogue

  • To find books on your topic in the Library Catalogue, start searching your keyword in a basic search (NOT a subject search).
    • You cannot perform a Subject search, unless you know the exact wording of the Subject terms. Subject terms (or Subject Headings, or Subject, or Descriptors) are assigned to all records in the library catalogue for books, articles, films, etc. by a library authority, in order to indicate the subject matter of the item and to group similar materials by topic. As preferred terms, they are part of a controlled vocabulary, so you cannot "invent" them or use your own wording.
  • E.g. 'leonardo and politics' ; 'renaissance and italy'; 'florence and intellectual life', etc.
  • After you perform a Keyword Search and get a list of titles, browse through them and select the one that looks relevant.
  • Now you can check to see what Subjects have been assigned to that book. You can then click on the relevant Subject term to find more books on the same topic.
  • When you learn what Subject terms *best* describe what you want, you can then use them to search by Subject.

Some Subject terms that might be useful for the topics in this course:

Some Recommended Books

How to find journal articles

The best indexes for journal articles in the area of renaissance Italy are:

Again, start your search with one or two Keywords (e.g. 'florence and patronage') and try to find a Subject Heading (Subject Term, Descriptor) that reflects what you need.

Get the article

You might be lucky to get full-text articles online, right in the database you are searching. But if not...

  • You have to check whether the SFU library has the journal (in print or electronic format) in which the article you want is published.
  • The majority of our databases have a link Where Can I Get This?   When you click on this link, a new window will open with the information on which library has the journal you need and in which format. If the article is not available at SFU, you may be able to request it online from another library: just click on the link Request This Item Now.
  • Click on the 'Check for full-text' link in ITER to find the item.  

Requesting books and articles from other libraries

  • Undergrads are eligible to request materials from the academic libraries in Western Canada through the Interlibrary Loan service.
  • If you have a citation from another source, e.g. from a bibliography found in another article, and you want to find it, do the following:
    • On the Library homepage mouse-over the 'Borrow' tab, click on the link Items from other libraries (ILL), and choose the option you need.  Don't request dissertations for this assignment.
    • If the item is not in electronic format, it may take a week or more for it to arrive.

Citation Management Tools

  • Citation or reference management tools collect your journal article, book, or other document citations together in one place, and help you create properly formatted bibliographies in almost any style — in seconds.  Citation management tools help you keep track of your sources while you work and store your references for future use and reuse.
  • See also our guide on how to avoid Plagiarism.