So I just came back from the University of Delaware library to see if they would have any good resources to meet this year’s theme; Innovation in History: Impact and Change. I went to the Reference room desk and talked to a really nice librarian, Rebecca Knight. She was really helpful and informative. So I thought I would share what she told me with you.
First off you have to be eighteen years or older to check out a book from the library. If you are not, I suggest you go with someone who is (parent, older sibling) so they can take out the book. Before you go to the library there is a way to check if the UD library contains the electronic reserves that you may need. Go to http://www.udel.edu. Go to the libraries tab on the top and click on Morris Library. Once you are there on the top it says Subject Guides, click on that. From there click on History and then Resources for National History Day (third from the bottom). Look around this site. It was made especially to help you and there truly are some great resources on this site.
The electronic reserves are a great place to look for primary documents. For example, they have maps and pictures which could be great for any exhibit, documentary, or paper. In Databases, I clicked on the New York Times and searched DuPont – Nylon. I found all of these old advertisements from the 1940s about socks made with DuPont Nylon. I thought that was so cool. But in order for you to print out these resources, you have to go the University of Delaware Library. It does cost to print there, but it’s totally worth it.
I also learned the University has a collection of patents online. If you are doing a certain invention and know the patent number, you can search it and see the original patent, what a great primary source! There is also a section of the library called juvenile literature: they may have great secondary sources in that section. If you’re interested in visiting the special collections, make sure they have resources related to your topic first. There are a lot of regulations that go along with special collections so look those up at the library website and email the librarian if you have any questions.
And remember don’t be afraid to ask a librarian for help. They are there for a reason. I have done many a research projects at UD and it wasn’t for the librarian my 25 page papers wouldn’t have been as good as they were without their assistance.
Ali, Delaware Historical Society intern