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STS 354: Murder and Mayhem under the Microscope: Introducing the Protagonists

The resources and strategies listed here will help you find acceptable sources for your presentation on a person of historical importance to the development of criminology and/or forensic science.

Primo Search Tips

Primo Search will help you identify books and articles, both scholarly and popular.  To reduce the number of results you need to consider, try some or all of these strategies:

  • Search by subject rather than keyword.  Using the advanced search option, switch from "any field" to "subject" and write your protagonist's name as "last name, first name" in the search box.
  • Search for a specific title listed in the bibliography at the end of an especially useful subject encyclopedia entry.
  • Use Primo's filters, limiters and sorters after running your initial search. For example, if you run a search for "Cesare Lombroso," you'll get nearly 2,000 results, including a biography written in 1911 as well as works written by Lombroso himself.  On the right hand side of the results screen, switch the sorting feature from "Relevance" to "Newest first," and you'll be connected with more recent scholarly sources. Or you could limit by material type to focus on peer-reviewed articles.

Overviews & Histories

Your protagonist may be discussed within the larger frameworks of the history of criminology and forensic sciences.  A few good places to start include:

Subject Encyclopedia Collections

As you research your chosen protagonist, seek multiple sources that are written from different disciplinary perspectives.  This will help you develop a well-rounded biography of the individuals in terms of their importance to forensic science or criminology.

For some of the individuals on your list of protagonists, you may need to consult print reference resources.  Print subject encyclopedias are located in the reference section on the first floor of Collins Library, just off of the Learning Commons.

If your protagonist is a detective or crime writer (such as Edgar Allen Poe or Agatha Christie), you'll likely want to also consult subject encyclopedias for the study of literature and writers:

Associate Director for Public Services

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Peggy Burge
Collins Library 119