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Embedded Resources: SNC

MCST 1030


Greetings! I'm honored to be your personal librarian for MCST History of Media.

I can help you pick a topic, find articles, or answer any other question.  Seriously.  I got you!

I share office hours with an awesome team of librarians, so if you'd like some one-on-one help click here to book an appointment or let me know a time that works for you We're here for you!

Sarah Naomi Campbell| | 401-598-5019

Did you know you can also chat or text with a librarian?  It's anonymous, free, and super fast!  Simply click the Ask a Librarian button below, or look for it on our home page!


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Let's explore these primary resources!

Each group will be assigned one source to explore. 

 Each group will share their findings with the class at the end of the activity. 

Using the handout, work with your team to evaluate the source you've been assigned to teach your classmates how to find information for the history of media essay.

Is your source useful for the essay?

Pro-Tip: Each team evaluates ONE of the following sources:

Group 1the Rhode Island Historical Society NETOP

Group 2Providence Public Library (PPL) Digital Collections

Tip: Look for the "search" button/try searching for both theater and theatre (if searching for an historical theater)

Group 3Rhode Island Theater Collection 

Tip: Look for "Access Points" on the Table of Contents

Group 4: Providence Preservation Society's Library of House Histories

Tip: You must know the address of your building before searching here

Group 5Guide to Providence Architecture

Tip: You must know the address of your building and find the search bar

Group 6National Register: Rhode Island Properties

Tip: You must know the address of your building

Group 7: Library of Congress (National Black Ensemble Theater)

Tip: Try browsing here



 Please take some time to review the video below and then email me to make a research appointment in person or with any questions.  It's a little outdated, as the PPL has a fresh new look, but the process is the same, and will help guide you through using the resources.

JWU students, as part of the HELIN consortium of colleges, are able to visit Brown University, just a short walk away, and use their online databases, including access to the Providence Journal.  Click here to learn more about your privileges.  

Current students of HELIN libraries are eligible for physical access to the Brown libraries. This includes onsite use of online databases and journals at designated guest stations in the Rockefeller Library and Sciences Library. Fill out an application at the Rockefeller Library to obtain an access card, which is good for one year, but may be renewed. There is no charge for this.  You must walk to the actual library to use the library resources, such as their online databases and the Providence Journal.  There is NO online access.

Current students of HELIN institutions should be able to obtain materials held by Brown through their home institutions' interlibrary loan service. In addition, anyone may purchase a borrowing card for onsite borrowing privileges. Fill out an application at the Rockefeller Library to obtain a borrowing card, which is good for one year, but may be renewed. The fee structure for borrowing cards can be found on our Visitors page.

In this video, I explore the Rhode Island Collection at the Providence Public Library, before heading over to visit Providence Public Library's Digital Collections and then on to Providence Preservation Society's awesome House History database, where you can search detailed architectural and historical information via individual streets.  
Of particular interest at the Providence Public Library is the The Rhode Island Photograph Collection, a collection of photographs that document the landscape and life of Rhode Islanders across the state from the mid 19th century through the 20th century. The collection grew over time as the Providence Public Library had photographs donated to them from a variety of donors. There are an estimated 6,000 plus images in this collection.
Kate Wells, the Rhode Island Collections Librarian at Providence Public Library, invites you to make an appointment with her to discuss your particular topic at   Here is her advice:
  • Our online catalog includes all cataloged monographs and is a good starting point.  
  • Our Rhode Island Index is a traditional card catalog that has been maintained since 1901 and includes newspaper articles, maps, images, pamphlets, clipping files, etc that may not be cataloged in the online catalog. Students will need to come in to use it, but either myself (Kate Wells) or a reference librarian can assist. City Directories and the Providence Board of Trade Journal are also good resources 
  • Check out the RI Theatre Collection here: it includes materials from a wide variety of Providence theatres.  Make sure to make an appointment with to view materials in the collection. 
  • Much of our general image collection is cataloged and can be browsed online.  
  • Our Special Collections has the Updike Collection on the History of Printing.  Jordan Goffin, the Special Collections Librarian, would be happy to work with students if that is their particular area of research. 

Still searching?

Try browsing the Rhode Island Folk Collection at the Library of Congress, especially the amazing National Black Ensemble Theatre (NBET), Newport, Rhode Island

You can also search the Providence Preservation Society's city plans including the College Hill Study, complete with photographs.


Wondering how to cite primary sources?

Developing a juicy topic is perhaps the most challenging step of the research process.  The good news is that I'm here, along with my fellow librarians, to help you on the way.  

The following guide on the  Research Process has everything you need to know to get started, from developing your topic to finding primary and secondary sources. 

When thinking about your topic, If you answer yes to the following questions, you're off to a fantastic start:
  • Are you passionately interested in your topic? (e.g. given the choice between researching your topic and gazing adoringly at kittens on Tumblr, you struggle with yourself for more than a few seconds)  Choosing a topic in which you are intellectually invested means those lucky enough to read your paper will hopefully experience your passion on the topic as well. 
  • Are there plenty of resources available on your topic via the library or the historical society? The most brilliant topic in the world will prove challenging if there aren't enough books/articles readily available.  Scheduling a personal research session or reaching out to the library can help you determine if your topic is one for which plenty of articles/books are available.

  • Is your topic specific and appropriate for the assignment?  The best topic is one which suits the assignment and hits the sweet spot between too general and too complicated. 

On campus? Visit the JWU Writing Lab at either the Academic Success Center at Downcity or Harborside for fast and easy help with assignments. Whether you're just getting started or need final editing advice, peer-to-peer and professional writing coaches are super kind and trained to help you at any stage of the writing process. For in-person tutoring, help with accommodations for students living with disabilities, and study-skills workshops, contact the Academic Success Center, via USucceed in jwulink, Academics tab.

Top Tips for Working with the Writing Lab:

  1.    Open 9 am - 9 pm. Mon - Wed. 9-4 Thurs - Fri. Sat & Sun closed at Downcity, Sun 2-9 at Harborside.
  2.    Walk-ins welcome; appointments strongly recommended.
  3.    Book an appointment by phone: 401-598-1485
  4.    Book an appointment online via USucceed: in jwulink, click Academics tab.

Did you know you can also submit your paper online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to Smarthinking for seriously awesome feedback within 24 hours?  It's FREE!  Look for the link in jwulink, under the Academics tab, under Tutoring.

Looking for MS Office Suite or Microsoft Word?  Click here to download it for free!