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Copy of QS 212: Ideas and Expression

Part 1: Pre-Class Reading

While you have become accustomed to using books, articles, and other secondary and tertiary sources for your research assignments, professional researchers also study primary sources located in archives, museums, special collections, and other cultural repositories.  Today you will have an opportunity to learn more about the events recounted in Persepolis using primary resources.   In addition to viewing digitized materials, you will also learn how to search for resources held by cultural repositories around the world.

Before your session in the library, read the following (including the appendix):

Part 2: Group & Topic Assignment

You will be given a number, which will indicate your topic (below) as well as the people that you will be working with to complete the assignment.  Your group will be required to turn in ONE sheet with the information that you recorded for the assignment.

  1. Savak
  2. Tudeh Party
  3. Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute (or more broadly the White Revolution)*
  4. Islamic Revolution (Iranian Revolution)*
  5. Iran-Iraq War
  6. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran)*
  7. Ruhollah Khomeini (Ayatollah Khomeini)*

*Indicates that if an initial search for the topic is unsuccessful, you should try searching for the terms in parenthesis. 

Part 3: Finding Appropriate Archives to Conduct Research

  1. Open ArchivesGrid in a new browser tab.
  2. Conduct a search using the box in the upper right hand side of the screen for your topic.
  3. If you receive too many results, consider narrowing your search by opening the Summary View tab at the top of the results screen.  This tab allows you to limit your results by topic, archive location, etc.
  4. In the list view tab, you can browse the collections that match your search criteria.  Find a collection that you believe would provide insight into your topic and click on the read more button.  Record the location of the collection, the collection name, why it might shed light on your topic, and if there are any “related resources” that provide more information about what is actually in the collection.
  5. Click the contact information tab and see if you can find information about what services might be available to access the resources off site.  Record any information you find, but feel free to move on if you don’t find anything within a minute or two of browsing the website.

Part 4: Searching for Materials within an Archive

  1. Open the National Archives Open Public Access Catalog in a new browser tab.
  2. Conduct a search for your topic using the box in the middle of the screen.
  3. Find an online document that you feel is relevant to your topic (either under the “Online Holdings” or “Presidential Libraries”).  Open the document and skim the content.  Record the title, author, and a why you think the document might be relevant.  Please note, some material links might be broken as the National Archives is currently migrating information.
  4. Open a finding aid for your topic, located under the “Archival Descriptions” in the left hand limiter box.  Record the title, the creator, any restrictions on use, the location of the resource(s) (based on the contact information), and the specific box that you would want to request (if a “Container List” is provided).

Part 5: Searching a Digitized Special Collection

  1. Open the Harvard Iranian Oral History Project in a new browser tab.
  2. Click the search link in the left hand menu and conduct a search for your topic in the search box and limit the language to English.
  3. Click the Full Record Display for a transcript you would like to review and record the narrator's name.
  4. Click the Digital Transcript link. In the upper left corner, click the Search button and conduct a search for your topic.
  5. Record what you learned about your topic through the digital transcript.