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HIST:2151:0002 Nazi Germany

Recommended Techniques

Before you start your research try to come up with a list of keywords. If you don't know too much about your topic, use reference books or Wikipedia (yes, this is when it's okay to use Wikipedia) to learn more and identity keywords.


  • Write out your research question or topic.
  • Think about the main concepts you want to explore.
  • Underline or write out those concepts
  • For each concept, articulate it in any way you can think of:
    • Synonyms/related terms
    • People or organizations related to your topic 
    • Places - geographic areas. Think in broad and narrow terms, for example: Europe, Germany, Berlin, etc.
    • Time period - specific dates, date ranges, eras, for example: June 6, 1944, 1939-1945. Cold War, etc.
    • If you are looking for primary sources think about the time period and what language might have been used. Language changes to reflect world events, greater knowledge, cultural sensitivity, etc.

Keywords/subject words you can use in combination with other search terms to locate primary sources in the InfoHawk catalog:*

autobiographies               correspondence               diaries                    documents/documentary
interviews                        letters                                manuscripts           memoirs
narratives                        sources                             speeches

*This is not an exhaustive list.

If you find a book or article in InfoHawk+ that looks promising review the Subjects or Descriptors for the item. Click on one of the subjects will yield all the items in InfoHawk+ with the same subject heading. For instance, clicking on Advertising -- Germany -- History -- 20th century will yield five results, while Germany -- History -- 1933-1945 will yield 1000+ results.


Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCHS) reflect the subject content of materials. They facilitate the uniform access and retrieval of items in any library in the world using the same search strategy. Components of LCSH can also reflect an item’s genre, format, geography, population/group, and time period information.

Check out the list before for examples of subject headings related to Nazi Germany.

Use the bibliographies and notes from resources that work well for your topic to find additional materials. Track down the materials the author used to support their research. This is a great way to find additional materials resources relevant to your topic. This is sometimes referred to as citation chasing. 


1.) Find a bibliography from a resource that you already know is relevant.


2.) Identify a resource you think might be particularly helpful and search the title in



3. You can also use the Citation Linker to find resources available at the UI Libraries

Again, your starting point is a book you already believe to be relevant for your research. Find the physical location of the book using the call number then browse the shelf around it. There will likely be other relevant titles nearby. 

InfoHawk+ also offers a virtual browse feature at the bottom of the record for any book that is part of our circulating print collection. (Note: This is does not provide full-text access online of the  title.)