Tutor profile: Danielle H.
Subject: Library and Information Science
My paper on the history of Pi requires me to use primary sources. I’ve searched the library’s catalog and have only found secondary sources. What strategies can I use to search for primary sources on this subject?
Let’s break the process down into smaller steps. Sometimes secondary sources can lead to primary sources, so we can start with background research on this topic first. I searched Google for the “History of Pi” and looked for articles from reputable sources. Some examples include: “What is Pi and How did it Originate?” Scientific American https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-pi-and-how-did-it-originate/ “Pi” From Encyclopedia Britannica https://www.britannica.com/science/pi-mathematics “What Is Pi?” From Pi Day.org https://www.piday.org/learn-about-pi/ “A Brief History of Pi” from Exploratorium.edu: https://www.exploratorium.edu/pi/history-of-pi “The History of Pi” https://sites.math.rutgers.edu/~cherlin/History/Papers2000/wilson.html Skimming these articles, you’ll find mentions of significant people,objects, places and dates related to the history of Pi. Some of these significant people include: William Jones, Archimedes, Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Fibonacci, William Euler, Christoph Grienberger, Ahmes, William Oughtred,Srinivasa Ramanujan Some significant dates include: - 2,000 B.C. (When the Babylonians and Ancient Egyptians began calculating circumference equations similar to Pi) -1650 B.C. (Creation of the Rhind papyrus by Ahmes calculating Pi) - 250 B.C.(Archimedes estimates Pi) -1630(Pi is calculated by astronomer Christoph Grienberger using polygonal method) -1647 (the equation is first named Pi in a book), -1706 (the first use of the Pi symbol); -1737 (Pi symbol is used and popularized by William Euler), Significiant Objects: -Clavis Mathematicae (book by William Oughtred, first usage of the term Pi in a publication); – --Rhind Papyrus -Old Testament (Kings 7:23, says: "Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about" also shows evidence of an understanding of this mathematical calculation during the era.) Significant locations: Ancient Greece, Babylon, Ancient Egypt, Austria, England Since your library may not have primary sources related to this topic in their collection, we can broaden our search outside of the collection. Since its not yet clear where primary sources on this topic may be located within a particular institution’s collection, I like to start with an image search using Google images. Using some of the terms from significant people, objects, places and dates list, you can formulate search queries to try and find images of primary sources related to your topic. For example to find an image of the Rhind Papyrus, I used the following search query: “Rhind Papyrus” AND “Pi” This returned many results of images of the papyrus, and I looked through the sources to try to find the originator of the images of the papyrus. I located a copy of the image used in a story from by the New York Times, and followed the source citation of the image to the British Museum. Within the British Museum’s collection search, I made another query for “Rhind Papyrus”, and located the original image and object record: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/Y_EA10058 This process can be repeated using other names/terms/objects from the lists to make additional queries. When you have more of an idea of sources such as the British Museum that have primary source items related to your topic, you can try search the collections of these specific sources as well.
Subject: Folklore and Mythology
Where can I find more information about different variants of Little Red Riding Hood?
Aarne-Thompson Uther Index classified and compares similar folk and fairytale variants through a numeric classificiation system. In the ATU Index Little Red Riding Hood is assingned number 333. Here’s an open access page that discussed 333 variants and provides links to examples of the tale in different cultures: http://www.mftd.org/index.php?action=atu&src=atu&id=333 Terri Windling’s “Path of Needles and Pins” gives a thorough history of older variants of Little Red Riding Hood: https://web.archive.org/web/20150212191217/http://www.endicott-studio.com/articleslist/the-path-of-needles-and-pinsby-terri-windling.html The University of Pittsburgh’s Folktexts has free Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts that contain a section of Red Riding Hood variants if you would like to read the original tales: https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html Surlalane Fairytales also has freely accessible tales that similar to Little Red Riding Hood: https://www.surlalunefairytales.com/h-r/little-red/little-red-related.html
Subject: European History
I’m looking for primary sources (including objects) related to marriage traditions in Victorian era Britain. Where can I find sources related to my topic?
The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/ can be a great resource for finding primary sources of material culture from British history, particularly the Victorian era. To search and view their digitized collections, visit: https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections?type=featured Since you’re focused on the Victorian time period, I recommend using the “Add Dates” filter, limiting to the years of the Victorian era, 1837-1901. I searched using the terms “Wedding” AND “British” filtering with the above date range, which returned several results. Wedding Dress From 1865: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O78857/wedding-dress-unknown/ The object record also provides an overview of white wedding dresses as a tradition in Britain during the Victorian era. This article from theV&A Museum may also be of interest: “The Victoria Connection”: https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/the-victoria-connection The beginning of this article from the V&A Museum covers the use of color in wedding dresses during the Victoria era: https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/wedding-colour I also used some search terms related to items associated with weddings and marriage in Victorian Era Britain. “Wedding Rings” returned a ring from 1869, and the object record provides a brief history of wedding rings as a tradition in Britain: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O138472/ring-unknown/ “Wedding Cake” returned a spray of wax orange blossoms, and the object record provides an overview of the use of the imitation flowers to decorate wedding cakes,as well as being worn by brides, used as wedding decor and included in wedding favors: https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O146154/spray-of-wax-unknown/ To locate more information, another good source for research, as well as having primary sources on this topic within it is the book Courtship and Marriage in the Victorian Era. The majority of the chapter on weddings is free through Google Books: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Courtship_and_Marriage_in_Victorian_Engl/jYL9cPE_M5EC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=courtship%20and%20marriage%20in%20victorian%20england&pg=PA116&printsec=frontcover&bsq=courtship%20and%20marriage%20in%20victorian%20england The full book may be accessible through your library or interlibrary loan.
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